CEC Reacts to Lima talks: Climate change needs more decisive action

Press Release No. 14/42
19 December 2014
Brussels

CEC Reacts to Lima talks: Climate change needs more decisive action The 20th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ended last week in Lima, Peru. The nearly two-week gathering saw over 12, 000 international visitors, including government and UN agency representatives, descend on Lima for intensive dialogue aimed at assessing and addressing widespread global climate change.

An ecumenical team under the leadership of the World Council of Churches, including representatives from European churches, participated in these events. CEC and European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) were represented in Lima through the work of this ecumenical team.

The talks concluded with 195 countries agreeing to the Lima Call for Climate Action. The document paves way for a more definitive international climate agreement to be tabled at COP 21, which will be held in Paris in 2015. While United Nations General Secretary Ban-ki Moon hailed the Lima talks as paving meaningful way to COP 21 in Paris, the Conference of European Churches expresses deep ambiguity and frustration with the Lima outcomes.

The Lima negotiations failed in their ambitious aims to restore trust in the UNFCCC process and facilitate progress towards a Paris agreement. Hopes for a robust and cohesive action out of Lima were high, yet participating governments left much undone in advance of the Paris talks. The decisions from Lima show a disheartening dilution of global commitment to addressing catastrophic climate change and an ongoing marginalisation of those most affected by climate change.

At this juncture, CEC renews its commitment to be a unifying presence for the churches in Europe and beyond in delivering a meaningful, faith-based response to climate change. In reflecting on the Lima talks, CEC General Secretary Guy Liagre remarks, “We hope that the days and months leading to the Paris talks will see a strengthened and coordinated church response to the devastation of God’s good creation and the oppression of those made poor by climate change.”

A European church representative to the talks, Henrik Grape, Church of Sweden, echoes this sentiment, “Church presence at meetings of this kind is about underlining solidarity, justice, and equity.”

Faith can be a great carrier of hope and source of courage in the work of transforming the world. “The CEC takes seriously its mission in working on climate justice, which our governing board reaffirmed just last week,” Liagre notes, “Our efforts will be intensified on the way to the COP meeting in Paris next year.”

For more information or an interview on CEC’s climate justice work, please contact:

Erin Green

Communication Coordinator
Conference of European Churches
Church and Society Commission aisbl
Rue Joseph II, 174
B-1000 Bruxelles
Tel. +32 2 234 68 42
Fax +32 2 231 14 13
E-mail : eeg@cec-kek.be

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 114 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 national council of churches and organisations in partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.

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