The Assembly of Delegates of PEN International, meeting at its 80th World Congress in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 29 September- 2 October 2014
Recognizing the PEN charter, which states that that literature knows no frontiers and must remain common currency among people in spite of political or international upheavals, and recognizing that society has traditionally regarded its writers as beacons warning against all sorts of dangers and risks;
Reiterating also Article 7 of the PEN International Bled Manifesto which calls for the respect of the environment in order to create sustainable conditions for peace;
PEN International urges the global leaders to pay special attention to the risks posed by climate change. PEN also urges global leaders to pay special attention to risks posed by climate change, and also to writers and others advocating against activities harmful to the climate, who risk being oppressed by governments or corporates with vested interests.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has in 2013 and 2014 submitted its assessment report no 5 (AR5) informing the world with increased scientific certainty that anthropogenic climate change is a major threat. Increased global warming is expected, with subsequent melting of polar ice, increased floods and other extreme weather occurrences. The AR5 Working Group II indicates that climate change will affect the livelihood of people, through decreased agricultural production, decreased freshwater resources, increased poverty levels and a variety of other consequences. Furthermore the AR5 Working Group III predicts that climate changes will lead to more inhabitable areas and increased migration.
Whereas all science is linked to a degree of uncertainty, the IPCC consensus is now based on a higher level of certainty than previously. In addition, the precautionary principle has been unanimously adapted by most climate scientists and many politicians. Lack of serious and effective action implies that this principle is not being seriously considered.
For the first time, the IPCC reports also discuss ethical questions connected to anthropogenic climate changes. Working Group III underlines the moral responsibility shouldered by this earth’s population to take care of the resources needed by future generations, whose interests have to be expressed and taken care of by those who live now.
Climate change is a slow process, but people in poorer regions of the world are already affected, and future generations will be more severely affected than those of their parents and grandparents. This poses special challenges to global leaders, as these generations do not yet have a chance to voice their interests.
- Regards climate change as a major threat to future generations and urges communities all over the world to be concerned with these voices, yet unheard,
- Calls for an increasingly open debate on these issues, and for protection of those who write or speak out against harmful climate change,
- Urges global leaders to work for a binding global agreement to curb CO2 emissions to limit future global warming to a level below what is considered threatening by IPCC scientists,
- Expresses its wishes for the Paris Summit in 2015 to adopt such an agreement in accordance with the precautionary principle to secure livelihoods for present and future generations.
Norwegian PEN, seconded by Ethiopia PEN and Turkey PEN