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Religious Leaders urge Govt to ratify Kyoto Protocol

In a statement released for World Environment Day today, the Leaders of Australia's religious congregations have urged the governments of Australia and the US to join the European Union and Japan in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Australia, as the largest per capita producer of greenhouse gas emissions, has a moral responsibility to the island nations of Oceania to reduce our greenhouse output," said chair of the Religious Leaders (ACLRI) Justice Committee, Sr Marlette Black PBVM.

Sr Marlette said the projected effects of global warming - rising sea levels and severe weather patterns - threaten the viability of our neighbours living on low lying Pacific islands. She pointed out that the relationship between religious congregations in Australia and New Zealand and our neighbours in Oceania is close because of the shared history of missionary work in the region.

"Pacific island countries are among the most vulnerable to the impact of climate and sea-level change as most of the population, socio-economic activities and infrastructure are located along or near coastal areas," she said. "Even on large high islands, the inhabitable land tends to be in the coastal fringe and therefore highly vulnerable to the increases in storm frequencies and flooding."

Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes
Text of Kyoto Protocol


5 Jun 2002