The Conversation: we need to talk about climate change

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This Saturday – 26 September – at St John’s Church Waterloo in London, the United Reformed Church's Southern Synod holds its Earthyear: The Conversation event.

At this conference, key academics, faith leaders and activists will introduce the latest thinking about climate change, and the most effective responses to the challenges. Earthyear: The Conversation is an opportunity for everybody to understand the issues at stake and how best to take action.

Representatives of the communities most vulnerable to rising sea levels will also be present. Speakers from the Pacific island nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu will speak of how they are responding to the likelihood of their nations becoming uninhabitable within their lifetimes. Maina Talia from Tuvalu says, "Our culture, our life, our heritage, and our language are all rooted in the land, I am afraid that Tuvaluans will likely lose our lands to the sea in the future if nothing is done."

This one-day meeting comes ahead of the most important international climate conference for years. The next few months are a time of opportunity to change the acceleration of climate change.

The United Nations COP 21 in Paris this December brings together the people and organisations that have the most influence and power over climate change. The COP 21 (Conference of Parties) aims to agree legally binding measures to keep warming within the limit of 2°C.

Worldwide, governments are submitting their own proposals to stem the rate of climate change. The environment committee said on Wednesday 23 September that the European Parliament's delegation to the COP 21 climate talks in Paris must call for a 40 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, a 40 per cent energy-efficiency target and a binding 30 per cent target for renewable energy.

There are many other ways we can engage, from  pilgrimages from the UK to Paris in time for the conference, to completing the year of prayer and fasting.

Tickets are available here.

Image © NASA 2011: Zachary Brown of Stanford University sips freshwater from a melt pond on sea ice in the Arctic ocean

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