Bishop Nicholas to Launch Major Climate Statement

by Gerry Lynch last modified 16 Jun, 2015 11:58 PM

"Lambeth Declaration" signed by major faith leaders in Britain, to be launched at Westminster

Bishop Nicholas will today launch a document in which faith leaders in Britain have pledged to fast and pray for the success of key international negotiations over climate change in a new declaration warning of the “huge challenge” facing the world over global warming.

In the newly-launched Lambeth Declaration, signatories call on faith communities to recognise the pressing need to make the transition to a low carbon economy.

Representatives of the major faiths including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said climate change has already hit the poorest of the world hardest and urgent action is needed now to protect future generations.

The call comes ahead of the international climate change talks in Paris this December where negotiators from more than 190 nations will gather to discuss a new global agreement on climate change, aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 when current commitments run out. 

The Declaration will be launched at ecumenical services running simultaneously at St Matthew's, Westminster and the Emmanuel Centre as part of a day of lobbying of MPs on climate change. Two sites are being used as it proved impossible to secure a single church in Westminster big enough to accommodate all expected to attend.

The Declaration has been signed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York as well as other faith leaders in the UK. It warns that world leaders must agree to reduce emissions to avoid average temperatures rising beyond 2⁰C, widely considered to be the threshold above which it is considered that the impacts of climate change will be most severe. The original Declaration was hosted by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and signed by faith leaders in 2009 ahead of the Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

Bishop Nicholas said, “The impact of climate change is something about which all people of faith are concerned. We need to work together in order to find our responses to some of the most significant moral issues facing the world. Along with many Christians, I am glad to be part of Wednesday's Climate Change Lobby at Westminster. We want to encourage our politicians to keep Britain committed to taking a global lead on climate change.

“The lobby will take place on the eve of the papal encyclical, to which we are all looking forward.”

Signatories include representatives from the Muslim, Sikh and Jewish communities as well as the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Methodist Conference and other denominations and faiths, with more leaders continuing to sign the Declaration.
Hundreds more people are expected to sign up to the declaration as it travels rounds the country during a summer of pilgrimages.

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