Churches urge G8 leaders to act on AIDS, poverty and climate change

Speaking ahead of the G8 Summit to be held in Germany onJune 6, The Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and BaptistUnion of Great Britain have issued this statement:

"As the G8 meets in Germany, our churches urge its leaders to placethe needs of the poor at the top of the agenda. Our partnerchurches in the developing world continue to highlight the urgentneed to address issues of social justice, poverty and goodgovernance. We call on the G8 leaders to make further progress toincrease aid and remove crippling debt, and to take concrete stepsto reform unjust trade and economic structures. Only in this waywill the promises contained in the Millennium Development Goals tohalve poverty be met.

"The AIDS epidemic has a dreadful impact on the lives of so many.We urge leaders to make concrete aid commitments in order thatanti-retroviral treatment can be made available to all.

"Climate change is a major priority for many in our churches. It isnow widely accepted that we must agree stringent limits on theglobal output of carbon dioxide. We call on all G8 Governments toagree binding and deep emission reduction targets. As developednations who have long enjoyed the benefit of readily availablefossil fuels we have a responsibility to take a lead."