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CEL home > News, archives and links > September 2008

CHURCHES CALLED TO REJECT OFFSETTING AND LEAD REAL CHANGE

'The time to act is now', churches were told at the recent Assembly of the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN).

EU climate change commitments must not be achieved through offsetting, the Assembly says. To keep global warming below the dangerous level of 2°, cuts in greenhouse gas emissions of up to 95% have to be achieved through efforts here and now, requiring huge changes in society .

Churches should work with scientists and politicians. To meet the challenge of climate change it is imperative that we bridge the divide between 'religious' and 'secular' sharing the insights, influence and infrastructure we possess.

In each denomination, region and community of Europe, church leaders should develop their own comprehensive road-map, with timescales and clear goals, to help ameliorate global warming. These roadmaps should:

- include ecology and climate change in all ministerial training

- initiate eco-management programmes which reduce energy, water and transport use, promote renewable alternatives, and include biodiversity or conservation projects

- encourage society to invest resources in spiritual development, education and cultural needs, and enjoying the beauty of creation instead of in material things

- monitor government, EU and UN discussions and decisions on climate change and engage with their political representatives in response.

ECEN affirmed the need for a spiritual basis to underpin the extensive changes in lifestyle and society which are required. Let us confess to God and to Creation: We have sinned against you; forgive us, and give us strength to begin anew. In the face of the huge challenge of climate change, churches can be signs of hope.

The 7th General Assembly of the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) met in Triuggio near Milano from 24 to 28 September 2008. The theme was 'the real challenge of climate change'.  

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