Climate Change Statement 'an important step forward'
Thursday 15th October 2009Thirty Christian and Muslim young people spent the day with the Archbishop and scholars to compose a statement that urges long-term action for Climate Change. This in view of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.
The Archbishop's care and concern for the environment is evident in his contributions and in collaborations with multi faiths. He has exercised the message that the world will end unless we change. He has been working to keep the pressure on in the lead-up to the Conference for justice for the world's poorest affected by climate change. The Conference brings nations together to negotiate and hopefully agree on a new international agreement for tackling climate change. The Archbishop will be in Copenhagen to support the conference.
'A Wonderfully Constructive Day'
The Archbishop, young people and Christian and Muslim scholars gathered at Lambeth Palace for productive discussions on the current climate crisis. The Archbishop expressed great delight at the initiative, as "there are issues which, because they face us simply as human beings, no single faith community can address on its own".
Amongst the speakers, Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra (Chair of the Muslim Council of Britain) said that the Qur'an "is very, very clear about the huge responsibility that we all have to shoulder as God's deputies on this planet." Mark Dowd (Campaign Strategist, Operation Noah) quotes the bible as a positive example of the fight for justice: "why do we do this? Because God wants it. Because Psalm 24 says 'the Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof'. It doesn't belong to us; it belongs to God."
Click download on the right to listen to the speakers [28Mb]
The young people aged 18-25, from the Christian Muslim Youth Forum (CMYF), split into four groups to cover each of four major issues involved in tackling climate change. Their statement considered:
Mitigation - Action needed to reduce carbon emissions
Adaptation - Ways to adapt to changes in the climate
Technology Transfer - Shifting technical concepts between countries
Funding - Ways in which these processes will be funded
The statement raised a number of points on the urgency for long term sustainable perspectives, responsibility and improvement on people's access to education.
Click downloads on the right to listen to [22Mb] or to read [25kb] the statement.
The Archbishop said that he was very encouraged by the statement: "I think the stress on education has been extremely useful here and I noted with great interest some of the thinking about patents that was mentioned, and the whole emphasis on - what I suppose in my generation when we're thinking about some of these issues – we used to call 'appropriate technology' rather than the technological quick fix. And that's a very, very central idea in all this."
Nadeem Javaid, a Faiths Act Fellow, was grateful for the opportunity: "It's only when people of different faiths work together we can really make a global impact and change the world. Thank you to the Archbishop for hosting us, his continued amazing work that he does on social justice and as a Muslim, I can find a lot of inspiration from him."
The Archbishop commented that the event was a great achievement for both inter faith relations and for climate change: "I think this has been an extraordinary day. Somebody spoke about 'a statement within a statement' - it's a statement about climate change but it's also a statement about how Christians and Muslims can achieve together and so I think it's been a really important step forward for the Forum, and I hope for the whole of our country too."
Two of the young participants won tickets to Copenhagen for the weekend of the UN Summit.