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Monday, 21 December 2009

It's a start, but we're not done yet



COP 15 has ended without the fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement that millions around the world hoped the world leaders would deliver. Last Saturday, Elias Crisostomo Abramides, the World Council of Churches' head of delegation to the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, summarised the disappointment of the Churches in the following letter. He points out in frank language the grave consequences of the lack of progress. The talks will be reconvened in Bonn early in 2010. Christians need to continue to pray for and support the ongoing process, so that what has been begun in Copenhagen will be strengthened and consolildated into a binding treaty.

In his letter, Mr Abramides, an Argentinian and a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, pays special tribute to the support from St Alban's Church, Copenhagen. Certainly the diocesan family would like to express our thanks to Fr Jonathan LLoyd and his team at St Alban's who have provided a solid, prayerful and spiritual presence, on behalf of our Church, during the summit.

Dear All,


Yesterday the World Council of Churches Statement to the Plenary wasvdelivered by Christian Friis Bach, International Director of DanChurchAid, at the traditional slot granted to the WCC by the UNFCCC. You can read the full text of the WCC statement to the Plenary at the following link:

We are already leaving Copenhagen with mixed feelings. On one hand, remembering the inspiring, clear and encouraging discourses that we heard from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Archbishop Rowan Williams and the decided perseverance of civil society for obtaining a just and equitable agreement.

On the other one, we are returning home displeased and with the certainty that, as a world leader said, "We have much further to go".

The proposed accord at the climate conference in Copenhagen is a frustration. After two weeks of negotiations by representatives of 193 countries, gathering more than 100 heads of state, the Copenhagen meeting has been another missed opportunity.

Wealthy developed countries have ignored the vast evidence, which says they need to cut domestic emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 (1990 levels). The amount promised by developed countries to help poor countries to deal with the dire effects of climate change falls short of the real amount of resources needed.

Without an ambitious and legally binding agreement in the coming months, not vague promises, climate change will spell disaster for the nations least able to mitigate it. Coastal and island countries face a dreadful prospect of deceased and displaced people while Africa and Latin America already are dealing with drought and famine.

Lacking swift, significant and ambitious political will, adequate resources and aid commitments once more the world's poor and the Earth itself would be the big losers. At Mexico next November or perhaps earlier if world leaders reconsider the gravity of the times, the Ecumenical Family once more would be present pursuing our invariable aspiration of an equal, just, in solidarity and in love world.

Before concluding, let me recognise the work performed by the WCC Ecumenical Team and by all the members of the Ecumenical Family at COP15-CMP5. I would like to express our gratitude to our friends of the National Council of Churches in Denmark, DanChurchAid and St Alban´s Church community for their solidarity and constant support.

Thank you very much!

Praying and desiring but convinced in the need of acting to obtain a better and just world, I wish you all a holy and blessed Christmas.

With my warmest regards,
Elias
Lic. Elias Crisostomo Abramides
Head of Delegation
WCC Focal Point to the UNFCCC
Climate Change Programme
World Council of Churches

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