From Dr. David G. Hallman, Climate Change Programme Coordinator, World Council of Churches
Date: April 2, 2001

Dear Friends,

Please keep our US ecumenical and inter-faith partners in your prayers. Below you will find a copy of a letter sent by US religious
leaders to President Bush after he announced the US withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol.

Also reprinted below is a statement from the EU.


   US Religious Leaders; Letter to President Bush

   March 29, 2001
   President George W. Bush
   The White House
   1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
   Washington, DC 20500
   Dear Mr. President:
   We reach out as senior leaders of major American faith communities eager to
   discuss with you a challenge of paramount religious significance: the
   condition of God's creation at the hands of God's children, the climate of
   planet Earth as being altered by the activity of the Earth's people.
   Many of us have carefully followed the inquiry into climate change and
   global warming.  While we interact with them regularly, we are not
   scientists, policy-makers, leaders within the economic sector, or architects
   of global treaties.  We do not comment on complex data or technological
   responses.  Nor do we wish to encourage narrow partisanship about an issue
   which so clearly affects the well-being of all humankind.
   We believe there is a point, however, at which scientific consensus is
   sufficiently established to require consideration of long-standing religious
   and moral principles of prudence and precaution.  If credible evidence
   exists to indicate our present course could threaten the quality of life for
   God's creation and God's children, this becomes an issue of paramount moral
   We are persuaded that this point of prudence is now upon us.  Projected
   impacts of global warming on the most poor and vulnerable are ethically
   unacceptable.  Domestic and international action is urgently required.  The
   United States has a moral responsibility to lead the world's nations and to
   serve its people. In recent days, we have been reading reports of what the
   administration is not prepared to do to address climate change.  We are
   eager to learn what our government will enact here: in a credible, binding
   program to honor international commitments, successfully prevent destructive
   impacts on humankind and habitat, and embody equity.
   Our scriptures are plain about the religious dimension of this challenge.
   When it is all creation on Earth that is being affected, we freshly
   appreciate the principle that, "The Earth is the Lord's." (Ps.24:1)  Our
   climate and seasons are God's handicraft, "Yours is the day.  Yours is also
   the night.  You made summer and winter." (Ps. 74:16-17)  All life is
   embraced by God's covenant and with particular instructions regarding our
   children and children's children. "This is the token of the covenant which I
   make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for
   perpetual generations." (Gen. 9:12)
   Because human purpose in the greater web of life is a central issue here,
   this inquiry is expanding beyond the laboratories of science and the halls
   of diplomacy to the pulpits and pews of the American heartland.  We believe
   you should be aware that many of our denominations have passed resolutions
   on climate change and that local activity is growing in churches and
   synagogues across a broad spectrum of religious life.  We can confirm what
   EPA Administrator Whitman reported to you on March 6th:  "For the first
   time, the world's religious communities have started to engage in the
   issue."  And while there are diverse perspectives on policy, many still
   evolving, it is our view that this activity will grow exponentially, from
   genuine religious and moral conviction.
   We in the faith community are in a process of open dialogue and inquiry
   here. We are heartened by your early commitment to civil, moderate,
   bipartisan dialogue and, particularly, by your willingness to hear the voice
   of the faith community.  We hope you will follow this path on the issue of
   climate change.  We are eager to meet with you for further reflection,
   perhaps in a small gathering in June.
   Meanwhile, we believe an historic challenge is before us all here, foreseen
   by our scriptures, and freshly vivid in these signs of the times, "I have
   set before you life or death, blessings or curse.  Choose life, therefore,
   that you and your descendants may live."  (Dt. 30:19)
   Ismar Schorsch
   Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary
   Dr. Bob Edgar
   General Secretary
   National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
   The Reverend Clifton Kirkpatrick
   Stated Clerk
   Presbyterian Church (USA)
   Bishop Melvin G. Talbert
   Senior Ecumenical Officer, United Methodist Church
   The Reverend Richard L. Hamm
   General Minister and President
   Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
   Bishop McKinley Young
   Bishop of the Tenth Episcopal District
   African Methodist Episcopal Church
   cc:        Christine T. Whitman
               Paul O’Neal
               Colin Powell

   EU Statement re US Withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol

Statement on Climate Change by Mr Kjell Larsson, Minister for the Environment in Sweden

Date: 31/03/2001 Policy area: Environment

News item: Press release

Mr Kjell Larsson, Minister for the Environment, made the following statement on Climate Change in conjunction with the Informal
Meeting of Ministers for the Environment in Kiruna 30 March - 1 April 2001:

1. The Kyoto Protocol is still alive.

2. No individual country has the right to declare a multilateral agreement as dead.

3. All governments have a special responsibility in seeking an agreement on the basis of the Kyoto Protocol, not least those
countries with a high level of per capita emissions of CO2, such as USA.

4. EU is actively participating in the negotiations leading to the resumed session of COP 6 in Bonn in July 2001.

5. The EU Troika (the Swedish Presidency, the Commission and Belgium as incoming Presidency) will during the coming week
visit USA, Russia, Iran (as President of G-77), Japan and China.


Dr. David G. Hallman,
Climate Change Programme Coordinator,
World Council of Churches
Energy & Environment Programme Officer,
United Church of Canada,
3250 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Canada M8X 2Y4
Tel. 1-416-231-5931
Voice mail: 1-416-231-7680 ext.5051
Fax. 1-416-232-6005
Alternate e-mail:

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