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Church Organisations Call for Climate Summit Progress

Tuesday November 14 2017

Three organisations representing more than half a billion Christians have expressed frustration at the lack of progress at the UN climate summit (COP23) taking place in Bonn, Germany, this week.

In a statement, the World Council of Churches (WCC), Lutheran World Federation and ACT Alliance said that the week ‘has made little progress towards securing the key demands of some of the world’s most vulnerable peoples and communities’.

WCC General Secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, said: “Climate justice cannot wait. The most vulnerable must be in the midst of the world focus to overcome the climate challenge.

“We have already taken many steps together, and it is clear that we strongly believe in efforts to stop climate change. And what is more, we believe strongly in the work for climate justice, and in shared responsibility in addressing these issues. Now is the time to take action.”

The COP23 agenda focuses on working out rules and guidelines for the implementation of last year’s Paris agreement, which commits countries to work to limit global temperature increases this century.

The organisations’ statement added that it was ‘of paramount importance that COP23 and its Fijian presidency prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable countries for whom climate change is a harsh reality already today’.

“We do not want COP23 to be a lost opportunity,” said Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, ACT Alliance general secretary. “The hopes and aspirations of millions of people who are facing the harshest impacts of climate change depend on urgent actions to mitigate climate change and its impacts.”

The Church of Scotland is part of the WCC, itself part of the ACT Alliance, a coalition of more than 140 churches and Christian organisations (also including Christian Aid) focused on humanitarian aid, development and advocacy for poor and marginalised people around the world.


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