GOOD NEWS – Russia’s word on Kyoto

“In a world that is dominated by bad news where people and the natural world are suffering, it is good news to hear that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a commitment to ratify the Kyoto Protocol,” says Mrs Anne Lanyon, Co-ordinator of the Columban Centre for Peace Ecology & Justice. This will enable the 1997 agreement to come into force. Australia and the United States, both major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, have refused to ratify the protocol, citing cost and the exclusion of poor countries as the reason.

Climate change is a serious threat to Australians and all people, not in the distant future, but in our own lifetime. Our high use of fossil fuels increases global warming. This is directly threatening the homes and health of people living on low lying Pacific Islands. Scientific evidence shows that the effects of climate change may irreparably damage Australia’s natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef and alpine areas within fifteen years. We don’t have time to procrastinate.

Our current attitudes towards the natural world are destructive, not creative. As Christians, we are called to co-operate with God in the Creation which the scripture writers say God saw as GOOD. Pope John Paul II has called us to an ecological conversion. Our behaviour must change.

Having the Kyoto Protocol in place is a good place to start dealing with the urgent issue of global warming. The Australian Government should also endorse the Kyoto Protocol and commit money to research into alternatives to fossil fuels. It should also commit to policies that change social attitudes from consumerism to conservation. People of faith have an important role in acting on the Good News about the integrity of creation.

For further information or interviews please contact:
Columban Peace Ecology and Justice Centre, ph 02 9488 8844 Fax 02 9449 4967 email pej@accsoft.com.au web: http://www.columban.org.au/cmi/cmi_pej.htm