Church leaders urge politicians to help poorer countries tackle climate change

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Haiti hit by hurricane matthew credit creative commonsThe Moderators of the United Reformed Church (URC) General Assembly have joined Christian leaders from a number of denominations to urge the UK government to pay more attention to its international role on the impact of climate change.

In a letter to The Times, Derek Estill and the Revd Nigel Uden joined representatives of the Quakers in Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and others to urge politicians to help poorer countries deal with their climate crisis.

In the letter, published on 29 November, the leaders wrote:

“This election campaign has seen a welcome focus on climate change. However, little attention has been paid to the UK’s international role. As a rich nation which has benefited from ‘cheap’ fossil fuel energy, the UK should support poorer countries in their responses to the climate crisis.

“As well as finance and technology to aid a global transition to zero carbon, this support must include funding and debt relief for countries hit by climate-related disasters.

“The UN has found that climate disasters now occur at the rate of one a week. There is no international agreement on how finance should be provided for countries suffering loss and damage, and the burden continues to fall on poorer countries that have done little to cause the crisis, plunging them deeper into poverty.

“The COP25 UN climate talks starting next week in Madrid present an opportunity to make progress on this issue.

“All people are created equal in the sight of God – and this truth must be reflected in our actions. The UN talks must include and listen to communities in the global south, for whom climate issues are matters of life and death. Whatever the election outcome, the next government has a moral duty to address these matters of global justice.”

The letter was signed by: the Revd Ken Benjamin, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain; Richard Bradbury, CTE Ground Level Network of Churches; Derek Estill and the Revd Nigel Uden, Moderators of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church; Dr Richard Frazer, Convener of the Church and Society Council, Church of Scotland; the Revd Jill-Hailey Harries, President, Union of Welsh Independents; Professor Clive Marsh, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference; Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain; and Elizabeth Slade, Chief Officer, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches.

Picture: Haiti Hit by Hurricane Matthew" by Nations Photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 
Published: 2 December 2019

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