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COP23: Vincenzo Buonomo (Lateran Univ.), “lack of public awareness is a disgrace”

“The problem is not only those not honouring their commitments – which is already a disgrace. The lack of public awareness is also a problem that affects and will increasingly affect the future of planet Earth and the human family”. Vincenzo Buonomo, professor of international law at the Lateran University, said this in an interview with SIR news agency, recalling what Pope Francis recently said to the FAO, speaking of the climate issue. The 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) has started in Bonn yesterday. The role of civil society – Buonomo remarked – “is of the essence. Public opinion in 2015 was focused on what was happening in Paris, but how many people today are aware that a climate conference is underway in Bonn? This means that information systems are also severely limited. But if the attention of civil society to what is happening and to the decisions that will be taken drops, then the momentum necessary for the so-called decision-makers to take decisions in accordance with the needs of the human family also vanishes”. I believe that the importance of the Bonn Conference – Buonomo said – lies in the fact that the 168 signatory countries to the Convention are failing to fulfil the pledges they made in Paris. Indeed, the pledges are likely to fall short of the target, not just because a country has announced its decision to withdraw, but because the others have shown no real concern, especially as regards the financing needed to avoid the use of coal as an energy source. This is the big issue that was discussed in Paris: on that occasion, the Member States had committed to resolving it by scaling up funding to 100 billion dollars a year from 2018. This was to allow the gradual achievement of the so-called ‘carbon free’ economy. But today’s data show that this has not happened”.

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