World Council of Churches calls for radical steps to counter climate change

Published December 15, 2008

Church leaders have advised government representatives meeting at a United Nations conference in Poland on climate change to use a “window of opportunity” of less than 10 years to take action to limit environmental damage.”Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are still increasing, which continues to be a matter of alarm. We call governments to take much more radical steps,” said Archbishop Anders Wejryd of the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden in a statement presented on Dec. 12 to the U.N. meeting in Poznan, in western Poland.The archbishop was presenting the statement on behalf of a delegation representing the Geneva-based World Council of Churches. At the end of November, Wejryd had hosted an interfaith meeting in Uppsala of leaders of different faith traditions. This meeting hammered out a manifesto calling for an extensive and speedy reduction of carbon dioxide emission in the wealthy parts of the world ( The WCC statement presented in Poznan calls for an “effective and equitable global climate policy regime built on the ethical imperatives of justice, equity and solidarity”.Delegates at the Poznan conference have been seeking to prepare an accord on combating climate change to be agreed in 2009 at a U.N. gathering in Copenhagen. The accord would take effect in 2013, after expiry of the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, a U.N.-brokered agreement aimed at limiting emissions of greenhouse gases that lead to climate change. Under the Kyoto Protocol, 37 states, consisting of highly industrialised countries and nations undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments.


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