Anglican appeal: ‘Pray and sign petition for renewed climate change commitment’

Anglican appeal: ‘Pray and sign petition for renewed climate change commitment’

Members of the worldwide Anglican Communion are being challenged to pray for the success of pending COP 171 negotiations and to sign the “We have faith: Act now for climate justice” petition calling for a renewed commitment to tackling climate change.

Despite 17 years of negotiations to cut warming emissions, current global pledges to cut emissions leave Earth on track for between 2.5 and 4 degrees of warming, widely agreed to be catastrophic, said the Rev. Canon Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and member of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

“There is little sign that the world’s nations are truly serious about making the emissions cuts that are so urgently needed. Short-term economic growth is threatening the prospects for global long-term human development.”

When world leaders gather in Durban, South Africa at the end of November, a primary focus of COP17 will be securing a global climate agreement as the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period (2008–2012) comes to an end.

It is also likely that there will be a focus on finalising at least some of the Cancun Agreements reached at COP16 in 2010, such as co-operation on clean technology, as well as forest protection, adaptation to climate impacts, and finance, in particular the promised transfer of funds from rich countries to poor in order to help them protect forests, adapt to climate impacts, and ‘green’ their economies.

“It is fitting that this gathering takes place on African soil,” said Canon Mash, “because although Africans are responsible for a tiny proportion of global emissions (with the noted exception of South Africa), Southern Africa is warming at about twice the global average rate. Africa will be amongst the world’s most affected nations, threatened by unprecedented droughts, floods, extreme weather, diminishing food security, poverty, forced migration and increased conflict.”

Faith leaders will be gathering at a mass rally in Durban on Sunday November 27 to pray for the success of the Climate Change negotiations. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will hand over the “We have faith: Act now for climate justice” petition to the leader of the COP 17 gathering.

The petition requests the following:

  • A commitment to a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement and to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol to ensure the survival of coming generations.
  • The setting of clear short and long term targets for carbon emission reductions that keep average global temperature increases well below 1.5 degrees centigrade, and to support solutions that contribute to healing the earth.
  • The guarantee of adequate finance for adaptation in Africa. Such finance should come from historically polluting nations in recognition of their ecological debt and be additional to existing development aid, governed inclusively and equitably under the United Nations.
  • A call on our negotiators to treat the Earth with respect, resist disorder and live in peace with each other, including embracing a legally binding climate treaty.

Members of the Anglican Communion from around the world are being asked to sign the petition here and pray that world leaders recommit to protecting future generations from an environmental catastrophe.

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol, will be held in the city of Durban, South Africa.

One of the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission is ‘To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth’. The Anglican Communion’s Environmental Network’s mandate is to ensure that environmental issues be given greater visibility and be better co-ordinated across the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has recently been appointed as the chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

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