Lambeth leaders call for ‘fair deal’

04 November 2009

by Ed Beavan

LEADERS of faith groups in the UK, meeting in Lambeth Palace last week, kept up their pressure on the world’s politicians to avert the threat of “catastrophic climate change”.

In the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, the Archbishop of Canterbury was joined by faith leaders and representatives of faith-based organisations to discuss their part in campaigning for “changes in behaviour at every level of society”.

Dr Williams read out a joint statement put together by the faith leaders, which he described as “grounds for hope” for the future. It called for an “ambitious, fair, and effective deal at Copenhagen”.

It said that “justice requires” that developing countries, primarily responsible for climate change, “take responsibility for slowing the rise in global temperature”, and urged that the leaders “recognise unequivocally that there is a moral imperative to tackle the causes of global warm­ing. . . it is the poor and vulnerable who are most profoundly affected by the environmental impact of climate change.”

Dr Williams presented the state­ment to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, who attended the event “in the optimistic confidence” that the Government “would support it with all its energy”.

The Archbishop said that he would be praying for the British Gov­ern­ment’s representatives at the summit next month.

Mr Miliband endorsed the state­ment and described the event as “inspiring”. It showed what could be done at a local, national, and inter­national level to combat climate change, he said.

The conference was addressed by the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, and attended by leaders from the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha’i, Jain, and Zoroastrian faiths.

Community and faith leaders in Yorkshire and the Humber regions were due to gather in Leeds this week for a conference, “Faith in the Environment”, examining the part that faith groups can play in fighting climate change.

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