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RELIGIOUS LEADERS
CALL FOR ACTION
ON GLOBAL WARMING

Proclaiming global warming a religious issue, representatives of the United States faith community at treaty negotiations in The Hague called on the Clinton Administration to negotiate a strong treaty that actually addresses the threat of global warming by reducing pollution caused by burning fossil fuels.

"The U.S. should not avoid its responsibility to reduce the global warming pollution it produces by supporting loopholes in the treaty that do nothing to cut pollution,"said Rev. William Somplatsky-Jarman, Associate for Environmental Justice of the Presbyterian Church USA. "We call on the U.S. delegation to close these loopholes, preserve the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol treaty, and protect Godís creation."

The US faith community is delivering this message to the U.S. delegation in four ways: Open letter to President Clinton The heads of twenty-eight Protestant and Orthodox Christian denominations released a letter today to President Clinton urging the Administration to complete the negotiations for a strong treaty. Signatories include the Rev. Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCC); Rev. William Shaw, President of the National Baptist Convention USA; His Eminence Archbishop Dimitrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Bishop Melvin Talbert, Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church.

In the letter, the leaders assert that the Kyoto Protocol "is an important witness to Godís redemption of creation and to the importance of protecting Godís children and Godís creation, now and for future generations."

Building grassroots coalitions in 16 states The NCCC Eco-Justice Working Group is spearheading Interfaith Global Warming Campaigns in sixteen states across the United States to educate people of faith on the dangers of global warming and advocate for bold action nationally and internationally. NCCC is working in cooperation with the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, a coalition of national Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Orthodox Christians, and the Jewish community.

Addressing world leaders at the treaty talks Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith, in a presentation today to the Conference of Parties on behalf of the World Council of Churches, asserted that global warming is fundamentally about justice for the most vulnerable people of the world. She cited the fact that the U.S. emits 22 percent of the worldís global warming pollution, despite having only 4 percent of the worldís population.

"While the richest industrialized nations of the world are responsible for the vast majority global warming pollution, the least-developed countries and poor communities in the U.S. are already suffering the effects, and will be most severely affected in the future," said Dr. Walker-Smith of the Indiana Faith-Based Climate Change Campaign. "Therefore, it is only just and fair that industrialized countries, especially the U.S., take the lead in reversing global warming. As we read in Luke 12:48b, "From everyone whom much has been given, much will be required."

Evangelical Christian scientistís statement urging action A group of fifty-five Evangelical Christian scientists is releasing a "Evangelical Scientistsí Statement of Concern on Climate Change and the Need for Clean Energy," which concurs with the prevailing scientific consensus that global warming poses a serious threat that must be addressed. Signatories include Sir John Houghton, co-chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group One for all three Assessment Reports, and senior leaders of the American Scientific Affiliation, the largest evangelical scientists association in the world. The Statement urges "government leaders at the national and international levels to act in accord with biblical justice (e.g. Ps. 72.1, 12-14a; I Kings 10:9; Prov. 31:8-9; Isa. 11:3-5; Jer. 21:11-12) and take the steps necessary to significantly reduce the threat of global climate change."

Written by: National Environmental Trust


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