Faith leaders rally for signature of ambitious climate agreement

LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge reiterates faith leaders advocacy with UN leaders, which took center stage at the COP21 meeting in Paris. Photo: LWF/R. Rodrick Beiler
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge reiterates faith leaders advocacy with UN leaders, which took center stage at the COP21 meeting in Paris. Photo: LWF/R. Rodrick Beiler

270 religious leaders urge commitment to the most vulnerable

(LWI) – “Climate change is the daily reality of people and communities who struggle to cope with adverse impacts of extreme weather events.“ The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge underlined this concern as the United Nations prepares to open the signature process for the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Climate change “is neither abstract nor theoretical but rather a struggle for justice between people living in different places and between generations,” Junge noted. He and LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan are among  270 faith leaders renewing calls for the full and ambitious implementation of the agreement adopted by world leaders in the French capital last December. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon will open the agreement for signature on 22 April. 

Climate change ... is neither abstract nor theoretical but rather a struggle for justice between people living in different places and between generations.
Rev. Dr. Martin Junge

The LWF leaders  have signed onto the Interfaith Statement, affirming all the decisions adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A group of faith leaders will hand over the statement to the President of the UN General Assembly Ambassador Mogens Lykketoft at a high-level event today, 18 April. The Statement has been endorsed by nearly 5,000 individuals and more than 170 religious groups.

The Statement reaffirms the faith community’s active engagement in seeking signatures for the agreement which is expected to enter into force in 2017 or 2018. This includes a commitment for a swift phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, accelerating the transition to 100 percent renewable energy, and pursuing efforts´ to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Read the Statement

Read the blog post by Martin Kopp