Faith leaders call for ‘zero carbon future’

October 20, 2015 12:32 pm


Pollution in China/FILE
Pollution in China/FILE
BONN, Oct 20 – More than 150 religious leaders from around the world urged UN climate negotiators in Bonn Tuesday to bequeath a liveable planet to future generations.

“It is our duty to leave this Earth behind to our children and grandchildren to ensure sustainable and acceptable living conditions in future for all,” they said in a statement submitted to the UN.

“We urge governments to commit to building climate resilience, phasing out fossil fuel energies and reaching zero emissions by mid-century.”

The appeal comes less then two months ahead of a 195-nation climate conference in Paris tasked with beating back the threat of global warming and helping poor countries cope with its impacts.

At the five-day meeting in Bonn, ending Friday, rank-and-file negotiators are preparing a draft of a climate deal to be inked in the French capital in December.

Progress is halting, but negotiators were set to resume work Tuesday after developing countries balked at a text which they said sidelined several of their redline issues.

The statement by faith leaders echoes the landmark encyclical released by the Catholic Church earlier this year on climate change and the environment.

In June, Pope Francis urged the world to act quickly to prevent “extraordinary” climate change from destroying the planet, saying rich countries must bear responsibility for creating the problem, and finance a solution.

Signatories of the statement released Tuesday included Reverend Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches; Archbishop Thabo Makgoba from the Anglican Church of South Africa; Imam Ibrahim Saidy; and Sulak Sivaraksa of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists.


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