Churches challenge rich countries on greenhouses gases

Rich countries must reduce their greenhouse gases drastically, a World Council of Churches representative told the UN Climate Conference on Friday but churches in the developing world are not waiting to launch action in their own regions.

Faith-based organisations were responding to the effect of global warming on Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, which was causing drought, Dr Jesse Mugambi, a Kenyan member of the WCC's working group on climate change told the Climate Conference.

The organisations were forming an all-Africa partnership between the churches and Caritas, the Catholic development agency, to raise awareness and provide advocacy as well as water schemes, she said.

In the Pacific, churches could no longer wait for the world community to agree, and were taking initiatives in their own ways and within their own means, according to a Church Times report.

"Faith communities are addressing climate-change issues because it is a spiritual issue of justice, equity, solidarity, sufficiency, and sustainability. The situation is critical. We must all act now," Dr Mugambi told the Conference.

Despite signing the Kyoto Protocol, some industrialised countries had increased their emissions since 1990.

"This means even greater reductions are required than the Kyoto Protocol targets, and reinforces the urgency that actual reductions start now. We dare not wait," she said.

Rich countries should pay poor countries to adapt to climate change, while cutting their own emissions in order to let them catch up economically.

"Listen to the scientists and the cry of the earth, and address the reality of climate change with the extreme urgency that it demands," Dr Mugambi concluded.

Nairobi conference hears of church action on climate (Church Times, 24/11/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Professor Jesse Mugambi (Kenya Climate Change blog)
World Council of Churches
Caritas International

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27 Nov 2006