In early December, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change met for the 17th time in Durban, South Africa to discuss the international community’s response to climate change. Though the governments agreed to continue working on a comprehensive treaty, this agreement falls short of providing climate justice to the most vulnerable.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) joined the strong presence of faith communities advocating in Durban. The quotes below reflect the urgency needed to combat climate change and to foster climate justice.
The WCC’s official statement reads, “In Durban, religious communities have come together in various ways to express that climate change is also a moral and spiritual crisis. We proclaim together: We have faith. Act now for climate justice” the statement requested.
Expressing his views regarding the COP17, the WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, “Though a minimum deal was achieved at the last minute to keep the Kyoto Protocol, make some steps towards a new legally binding agreement in 2015, and implement the Green Climate Fund, the overall Durban outcome is far from being enough to respond to the currently disappearing countries and future generations.”
“We need to listen to vulnerable countries and populations, and think of the legacy we are leaving to our children. Churches should continue to act and pray, especially during this time when we prepare for Christmas, the event when God sent his Son, Jesus, to save our beloved planet,” he added.
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- Full text of the WCC statement to COP17
- Faith Based Recommendations for United States Participation in COP17 from the NCC Eco-Justice Programs, endorsed by the MCC U.S. Washington Office
- Washington Office’s International Adaptation Assistance resources