Governments must do more on climate change, say Churches

Three major British Churches have voiced theirdisappointment that the Rio+20 Earth Summit has not made progresson the environmental challenges that face the globalcommunity.
The Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and Baptist Union ofGreat Britain say that world leaders have largely repeated previousclimate pledges, rather than pressing forward. They stress that thepledges in the summit document "The Future We Want" are aninadequate response to the risks posed by climatechange.

"Whilst we're pleased that international leaders recognisethe plight of the planet and the lives of many living in poverty,we are disappointed in the lack of clear action coming out ofRio+20," said the Revd Roberta Rominger, General Secretary of theUnited Reformed Church.

"We welcome the $175bn fund pledge to boost sustainable transportin developing economies," she continued. "However, developednations must now find innovative ways to resource a Green Fund tohelp developing countries create low carbon economies.

"We also regret that the summit has declined to identify atimescale or plan of action for the phasing out of subsidies forfossil fuels."

The Revd Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary of theBaptist Union of Great Britain said, "The world is only slowlywaking up to the fact that our present consumption levels areunsustainable. I believe that churches should not only call ongovernments to live more sustainably, but set an example in howthis can be done through reducing our carbonfootprints."

Methodist Youth President, Sam Taylor, also expressedfrustration with the weakness of the Rio+20 communiqué: "Withouttargets and dates, it's just words on paper. Will we be in the sameposition in another twenty years? The lives of future generationswill be affected if we fail to act now on climate change. The finalcommuniqué does not set out a path towards the future we want. Wecan and must do more."