The concept of Contraction and Convergence [C&C] takes the present distribution of the emissions as the starting point for the process of emissions reduction ("Grandfathering") in order to gradually achieve the objective of two tons of CO2 per head. The advantage is that this offers Countries with high emission rates a transition period that makes it easier to get started. It furthermore, in a certain sense, offers these countries protection by allowing for the gradual compliance with environmental safeguards. Existing injustices are transitionally recognized in this concept, without thereby being approved. However the C&C system - as is the case with all systems implemented on a global scale - cannot be realized in the short term, since the opposed interests cannot yet be reconciled. It can however be ascribed as a guideline function for actual climate policy. The C&C concept has its starting point in justice considerations, and therefore has an ethical foundation.
Global Crisis, Global Challenge, Global Faith [2010]
Allan Boesak & Len Hansen, Beyers Naude Centre University of Stellenbosch SA

As a child growing up in South Africa, I remember the Reverend Beyers Naude. He was a very courageous cleric who broke with his church - the Dutch Reformed Church - and spoke out publicly against 'apartheid'. In so doing he inspired millions to do likewise.

In the 1960's he was charged by the State with the crime of 'blasphemy' for posing the question, "Is God Dead?". At his trial, the prosecution asked him how he would feel if sometime told his that his God was dead and he responded by saying, "I think I could bear it."

A process of 'truth and reconciliation' in South Africa began with the final release from prison of Nelson Mandela in 1989. It is a tribute to all that the Beyers Naude Centre was eventually created at Stellenbosch University, the intellectual and spiritual centre of Afrikanerdom throughout the years.


by Michael Wines

Published: September 8, 2004
Thembe Hadebe/Associated Press, 2004

JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 7 - Beyers Naude, an Afrikaner cleric who renounced apartheid, defied his church and became his nation's leading exponent of white resistance to racism, died Tuesday in a Johannesburg suburb, family members said. He was 89 years old.

The news of his death touched off an outpouring of tributes from blacks and whites across the political spectrum, even from the governing African National Congress, which relegated him to lesser roles in South Africa's reconciliation after his refusal to join the party in the early 1990's.

During the height of the anti-apartheid movement, from the 1960's through the 1980's, Mr. Naude was ostracized by his Dutch Reformed Church and banned by the ruling white government for his insistence, against church teaching, that separation of the races was not ordained by God.

But his advocacy, rare for a white South African at the time, won international support and established him as a leader of the small but symbolically crucial band of whites who were demanding an end to apartheid.

Max du Preez, an anti-apartheid campaigner and Afrikaner journalist, said Mr. Naude gave hope to blacks and showed whites that the impending collapse of their rule need not portend disaster.

"In that time of huge polarization, he was a symbol to black South Africans that there could be change - that not all whites were like that," Mr. du Preez said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. "Post-1990, he became a bridge for Afrikaners into the new society, because he had been there all the while. He sat as a personal friend of the new black rulers. He was honored by black society, and he remained an Afrikaans guy. Because of him, people could see something familiar on the other side, and it made their crossing easier."

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first president and a close friend, called Mr. Naude "a true humanitarian and a true son of Africa." Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naude's journey to national icon was a strange trip indeed. Born in 1915, he was the son of an Afrikaner cleric who was a founder of the Broederbond, or Brotherhood, a powerful secret society of white supremacists who believed that God had chosen South Africa as the homeland for Afrikaners, the descendants of Dutch and French settlers from centuries ago.

The Broederbond became synonymous with the National Party, the Afrikaner-dominated political organization that came to run the country, imposing a strict system of racial oppression after taking power in 1948.

The Broederbond played a key role in running the government from behind the scenes. Mr. Naude, like his father, became a Dutch Reformed cleric and joined the organization, preaching a religious justification for racism.

But he began to doubt apartheid's basis after attending interracial church services in the 1950's, and his faith in the church's preaching was shattered in 1960 when the police killed 69 blacks protesting restrictions on their freedom of movement in the infamous Sharpeville massacre in Transvaal.

Mr. Naude was alone among his church's delegates in supporting a landmark proclamation that year by the World Council of Churches rejecting any theological basis for apartheid. Under pressure, Mr. Naude quit his church post and Johannesburg congregation in 1963 and resigned from the Broederbond. The Dutch Reformed Church later left the World Council of Churches and, in 1980, Mr. Naude was admitted to the church's black African affiliate.

Through the three decades following his resignation, Mr. Naude's promotion of racial reconciliation and blacks' rights led to upheavals within his church and police surveillance of his private life. Mr. Naude became an underground supporter of the anti-apartheid resistance, helping move its members in and out of the country. From 1977 to 1984, the government declared him a banned person, severely restricting his movements. After his unbanning, in 1985, he followed Archbishop Desmond Tutu as chairman of the South African Council of Churches. Unlike Mr. Mandela and other black opposition figures, who fled the country or spent decades in prison for their anti-apartheid work, Mr. Naude spent just one night in jail during his career.

Mr. Naude was the only Afrikaner on the team of African National Congress officials who negotiated the transition to democracy with the white-run government in the early 1990's.

After South Africa moved to majority rule in 1994, Mr. Naude spent much of the rest of his life on the political sidelines, in part, Mr. du Preez said, because he decided not to join the African National Congress. He spent much of the last five years in ill health.

Mr. Naude is survived by his wife, Ilse; three sons, a daughter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Friends said Mr. Naude had asked that he be cremated, and his ashes spread in Alexandra, an impoverished black township north of Johannesburg where he had become a pastor at a black Dutch Reformed Church after leaving his congregation in the early 1960's.



Religious voices back C&C
Why not
Why not