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CEL home > Links + Internat > December 2005


Hinde street windows

Climate change protests conclude with ecumenical service

See also below
Link to Montreal and Australia


by Ellen Teague

Christian Climate Change campaigners ended their day of protests in London on Saturday with an ecumenical service in Marylebone titled 'Prayers for the Planet'. Organised by Christian Ecology Link and Operation Noah, the Churches Climate Change Campaign, the service at Hinde Street Methodist Church focused on respect for God's Creation and the need for more urgent responses to human-induced climate change. Around 80 people, some still waving climate banners, attended the service which was led by Richard Solly of the Catholic Worker House in Oxford.

Paul Bodenham ih brown, in front of Interfaith Group banner on the marchPaul Bodenham, the Catholic coordinator of Operation Noah, read 'A Prayer for Hope in the Face of Climate Change'. It included a call that "we break our addiction to dirty energy", a reference to the burning of fossil fuels.

Quaker Laurie Michaelis felt a key issue was the values in our western societies and suggested that climate change may be "a trigger for letting go of materialism". In Oxford, where he lives, various initiatives include leafleting to raise awareness of environmental problems and assisting children with the planting of trees.

Laura Brooks of the Tearfund charity pointed out that climate change is causing the most problems for poor countries which don't have the resources to mitigate its effects. She quoted a Tanzanian farmer whose crops withered when the usual rains didn't come as saying that "when people spoil the atmosphere it is like taking a bullet to our heads."

Solly suggested that Climate Change presents a challenge to Christians regarding obedience to God's Kingdom values. He suggested that Christian communities could provide a prophetic witness in the way they live their everyday lives in simplicity and frugality.

The Christian campaigners were among at least 10,000 people who participated in the London protest which linked in with global demonstrations taking place on 3 December in 32 countries, all calling for action on climate change.

The London protest included a letter being handed into Downing Street demanding greater government commitment to greenhouse emission reductions and it ended at the US embassy,whose government has distanced itself from initiatives to address the problem. The marches coincide with UN climate talks in Canada, following on from the Kyoto Protocol which was the first international attempt in 1997 to curb carbon emissions.

In Montreal thousands of environmentalists, some banging drums or dressed as polar bears, marched through the streets accusing the White House of blocking progress on climate change and threatening the world's future.

In 2001, US President George W. Bush pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, which binds about 40 industrial nations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.

The Montreal talks are seeking ways to enlist both the United States and poor nations such as China and India in discussing ways to combat climate change beyond 2012.


Links with Montreal

by CEL web editor

On Monday 5th Jutta Steigerwald, a member of the European Christian Environment Network, who had travelled to Montreal, sent a message to CEL and to all who visit this site::

It is nice to experience that within the broader ecumenical present here, mainly from faith communties all over Canada and USA the active greeing of communties by energy efficency activities, organic farming, eco-theological elaborations, renewables settings, interfaith activities on the issues are growing. Yesterday we have got a wonderful inter-religious celebration and I would like to send you the the Spiritual Declaration which was presented and brought over to the delegates with the signitures of the about 2000 people present in the service:

A Spiritual Declaration on Climate Change
Made by Faith Communty Participants during the Montreal Climate Conference December 4, 2005

We hear the call of the Earth.
We believe that the caring for life on Earth is a spiritual commitment.
People and other species have the right to life unthreatened by human greed and destructiveness.
Pollution, particularly from energy-intensive wealthy industrial countries, is warming the atmosphere. A warmer atmosphere is leading to major climate changes. The poor and vulnerable in the world and future generations will suffer the most.
We commit ourselves to help to reduce the threat of climate change through actions in our own lives, pressure on governments and industries and standing in solidarity with those most effected by climate chance.
We pray for spiritual support in responding the call of the Earth.


..and Australia

Miriam Pepper is CEL's Youth Officer (18-30). She is a post graduate student in the UK, but is from Australia, and was back visiting Australia last week and writes:

"I was at the march in Sydney. (I should just add that the irony – and the impact – of having flown from the other side of the world just a few days earlier is not lost on me.) It was a small gathering – approx 1,000 people – with little media attention. Professor Barry Leal, who runs an "Earth Ministry" at two Uniting Church churches in Sydney was one of the speakers. There were similar marches in many places all over the country, organisers were very enthusiastic about the event marking the start of a growing climate movement. It was a very hot and sunburny day."

Operation Noah
Churches' Climate Change Campaign

Service sheet used at Prayers for Planet Service at Hinde Street following the march

Poster explaining service and march

Report of the Climate March

More Pictures of the March

CEL press release: nuclear energy 28 Nov 2005






Below: Some of the people there. Photos by Jo Abbess

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Copyright ©  Ellen Teague and 2012 Christian Ecology Link
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