The fourth biennial IEU Environment Conference ‘Looking to our Future’ will be held in Sydney on 16 October 2015. An early advertisement for the conference and a call for workshop presenters on education for environmental sustainability can be found on page 10 of Newsmonth.
The Union conference will occur only weeks before the 2015 December Paris Summit and in the context of escalating debate on climate policy. Late last year at the G20 summit in Brisbane, the United States and China announced a landmark decision in establishing ambitious new carbon emissions reduction targets. The decision put pressure on the Abbott government that has made no firm commitment on Australian targets post 2020. Diplomatic pressure over Canberra’s position on global warming has increased with recent criticism from the US and China among others on Australia’s climate change targets and Direct Action policy.
Pope Francis is weighing strongly into the climate change debate with his three-pronged approach to help save the planet. An encyclical on the global warming theme now is scheduled to be released in June or July and is expected to give support to those who attribute climate change to human activity. In recent months the Pope has argued for a radical new economic system to support human equality and avoid ecological devastation.
Further to the encyclical the Pope will convene an interfaith meeting of religious leaders to produce a joint response to global warming. Finally in September, Pope Francis has been invited to address the UN General Assembly on this issue.
Recent storm events close to home raise issues of climate change impact. The 2015 IEU Environment Conference will provide practical educational strategies for promoting environmental sustainability with recognition of some of this year’s major international climate initiatives.