Climate change affecting Bangladesh is a microcosm for the rest of the planet the Moderator of the Church of Scotland warned today.
The Right Reverend John Christie who is meeting the Prime Minister David Cameron in London today on the first day of the climate change conference in Cancun that what is happening in Bangladesh has to be tackled by affluent nations.
Bangladesh is among one of the most badly affected regions in the world by climate change. Through work done by the Church of Scotland and Church of Bangladesh climate change is being tackled to enable farmers to grow their crops.
James Pender a Church of Scotland World Mission worker with the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme, through his efforts, has made a wider awareness of the problem and impact it has on Bangladesh and ultimately the rest of Earth.
Mr Pender said: “As I’ve talked to farmers in Bangladesh they tell me they no longer know when to plant their crops because the seasonal weather patterns that had been relied upon for generations can no longer be depended on because of climate change caused in the west.”
The Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme has been helping communities to adapt to the changes in climate and become more resilient to disasters.
Right Reverend Christie saw for himself a month ago the devastation climate change has had on Bangladesh.
He said: “Bangladesh is a microcosm of what is happening elsewhere in the world. Climate change has worsened the problems that Bangladesh is facing. We’ve witnessed floods, drought and cyclones in the regions. In parts of Bangladesh the soil has become ruined because of saline levels increasing because of the rise in sea level and less rainfall in the dry season.”
Mr Christie will give the Prime Minister a letter signed by himself and Cardinal Keith O’Brien of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, the Most Reverend David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Shaykh Ruzwan of the Islamic community in Scotland, highlighting their disappointment over the failure of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit.
The letter also calls on the coalition government to take on a stronger role in international leadership by reducing its emission reduction target to at least 40 percent by 2020 and also guarantee that its climate finance contributions will be separate from and additional to its existing overseas development and commitments.
In 2007, the Church of Scotland established its Responding to Climate Change project, reflecting the growing concerns of the Kirk and congregations about the impact of climate change not only in Scotland but around the world.
An updated report from James Pender highlights the continued need to act in the fight against climate change. The report had renewed the Kirk’s determination in tackling climate change.
Notes to News Desks and Reporters:
A copy of the report is available online www.cofscotland.org.uk
For further information contact Nick Jury, Senior Media Relations Officer, Communications Department, Church of Scotland on 0131 240 2268 or Adrian Shaw, Climate Change Officer, Church of Scotland, on 0131 225 5722.
Monday 29th November, 2010