Church leaders in call for action on climate change

Paul Harcourt, the National Leader of New Wine and Nigel Harris, CEO of Tearfund are among an international list of signatories who will present an open letter from 62 influential Christians to the negotiators this year at COP24.

They are calling for more action on climate change during the negotiations at the UN summit in Katowice, Poland. Over 5,000 Christians from across the world have also joined this call in prayer and action.

“Christians across the world are responding to this urgent issue. From communities already being hit by the changing climate to those who have contributed most to the problem, we are taking action together.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge to our generation and as recognised in the IPCC report, the time is short to take action,” they say in the letter.

They are asking the negotiators to respond by stepping up their climate commitments and implementing policies to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“We’re standing with you, as you work to scale up and implement the Paris Agreement, and we urge you to do more to avert the catastrophic consequences of climate change and to protect the most vulnerable people who are impacted first and most significantly. They said.

They are calling for the negotiators to ramp up legally binding and timebound climate commitments, with strong national policies.

They are also calling on the leaders to establish trust and credibility in the international process by delivering the $100bn adaptation fund for developing countries that was promised in 2009.

They are also calling on leaders to transition to 100 per cent renewable energy, particularly using local solar power to reach those in poverty more cheaply, more quickly and more reliably than polluting fossil fuel power plants. They would also like to see more countries convert to sustainable, low-emission agriculture, to stop communities going hungry, and be more resilient to floods and droughts caused by climate change.

The Katowice Climate Change Conference, which runs until 15 December, is the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

But Christian Aid has criticised the Polish hosts for allowing coal companies to sponsor the meeting.

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, said: “The global meeting to tackle climate change should not be sponsored by coal companies. It is like an arms dealer sponsoring peace talks. This is irresponsible presidency from Poland.

“As a three-time host of this auspicious meeting they should know better. For representatives of countries coming to this summit that have suffered devastating climate impacts this year, it is a slap in the face,” he added.

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