Ecumenical Leaders Endorse New Effort to Fight Climate Change

NEW YORK – Christian groups endorsed a new groundbreaking statement by top corporate, civil, religious, and educational leaders on a global climate change.

The joint statement by the Global Roundtable on Climate Change (GROCC) was released Tuesday at the Earth Institute of Columbia University in New York, and addressed a practical framework to deal with the world’s changing climate.

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, called the statement “carefully drafted and urgently needed” in a letter endorsing the “The Path to Climate Sustainability” on behalf of the ecumenical church network. In a press release, he added that the WCC “will continue to participate in the process of bringing the concerns this statement addresses to the world.”

According to the 26-page initiative, governments should enforce scientifically informed, proactive policies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions among other greenhouse gases.

The National Council of Churches, also part of the 150 endorsers of the statement, worked with members of the GROCC to point out areas of intersection that exist within the scientific, economic, social and religious communities in order to help shape public policy by addressing the issue of global warming.

“Global warming is an urgent problem that is not only affecting God’s planet but also God’s people,” said the Rev. Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, in a press statement. “We can prevent catastrophic climate change by turning to renewable and sustainable energy options that will allow not only prevent further climate change but ensure that people around the world have access to clean safe energy.”

The statement also outlined cost-effective technologies that exist today and points to other plans that could be developed and used to improve energy efficiency.

Panel members stressed that much of the technology to combat climate change is already available, and they said much more is coming, according to CBS New York. The goal now, they said, is to enact global policies that will pave the way for widespread use of the available technology and the development of new technology.

Vital stakeholders endorsing the statement include leading corporations from all economic sectors to smaller firms with varying perspectives and concerns; as well as an array of civil, religious, environmental, research and education institutions distinguished from a list of world-leading experts in the fields of climate science, engineering, economics and policy studies.

“The WCC is anxious to encourage large companies like those included in the Global Roundtable to take action in their own businesses and provide leadership in the private sector that will result in limiting the polluting emissions that are causing climate change,” commented Dr. David G. Hallman, advisor of the WCC Climate Change Program.

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