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British Church Leaders Urge Climate-Change Action

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Church leaders have urged European politicians to make firm commitments on climate change policy.

Speaking before a significant European Union summit meeting last week, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church called on the EU to make drastic emissions cuts by 2020 and to fund technological and social adaptations to climate change in developing nations.

“We support the call of the prime minister for Europe to take a lead in setting up a substantial fund to help emerging nations cut carbon emissions,” said Baptist Union General Secretary Rev. Jonathan Edwards.

“It is time that words were turned into solid and concrete financial commitments.”

The run-up to the significant Copenhagen conference is seeing environmental activists, including faith-based organizations, increasing the pressure on governments around the world. They want them to limit the emission of greenhouse gases and provide funds to mitigate the effects of the changes that are already inevitable.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore this week released a sequel to his book, “An Inconvenient Truth,” aimed at people of faith. In “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” he has adapted his arguments to appeal to those who believe there is a moral or religious duty to the planet.

A three-day conference at Windsor Castle earlier this week drew more than 250 religious leaders together under the auspices of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave a keynote speech calling on world leaders to take more notice of what religious leaders had to say on climate change.

He said in a BBC radio interview, “Without the full support and cooperation of religious leaders, it will be very difficult to create a political climate conducive to agreeing to a balanced, harmonious and equitable and binding agreement at Copenhagen next month.”

This article appeared originally in The Baptist Times of Great Britain.