Press Release No: 16/10
20 April 2016
On Friday at the New York headquarters of the United Nations, an event a generation in the making will take place. After years of action ranging from grassroots advocacy to international climate change conferences, more than 150 countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change on this day. A total of 195 countries adopted the agreement, which will enter force in 2020. The high-level ceremony takes place on Earth Day, 22 April.
This event is an important step in implementing the international agreement, which outlines measures to hold global temperature increases to well below 2°C and pursues efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. The Paris Agreement also acknowledges that many vulnerable peoples and communities are at increased risk as global climate patterns change and become more unpredictable.
To accompany this historic event, religious leaders from around the world have signed an interfaith statement in support of the “full and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and of all other decisions adopted at COP 21.” CEC President Rt Rev. Christopher Hill KCVO, DD is among the signatories, “People of faith and goodwill profoundly welcomed the Paris Agreement on climate change. But now implementation is necessary to give cash value to Paris. The world looks on expecting action.”
CEC has supported church action leading to the Paris Agreement, including a Pilgrimage for Climate Justice. It will continue this work, especially in the upcoming European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) assembly in June in Helsinki.
The statement underscores that caring for Creation is a shared responsibility and unites people in action for the good of the global family. “This agreement gives us hope that a change of mind is occurring in humanity. It needs to be seen in our actions—on the level of our governments, the big and small businesses, our communities and churches, and our own everyday lives,” remarked Fr Heikki Huttunen, general secretary of CEC and signatory to the interfaith statement. “We need to learn to see the world and its life as a whole: our treatment of the natural environment is not merely an ecological issue, it is in essence a moral issue.”
In addition to the more than 270 high-level signatories, individuals and organisations are also invited to sign the Interfaith Climate Change Statement. Please click here for more information.
For more information on the Paris Agreement and list of signatories, please click here.
For more information on the upcoming ECEN assembly, please click here.
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