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US State Department recognises importance of faiths before Copenhagen

November 30, 2009:

Science on a Sphere

On the day that President Obama announced that he was going to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-15) in Copenhagen, running from December 7-18, ARC was contacted by the US State Department, which is committed to working with the religions on this issue, as one of the most powerful elements of civil society working on protecting the natural environment.

"We have a common interest," said the State Department's Stuart Ross on the phone to ARC on Wednesday 25th November. "It's all about stewarding resources... and given this administration's commitment to addressing climate change, we need to have much more dialogue on this subject with the major religions.”

The State Department has launched a new website and will be hosting a special centre at Copenhagen, with presentations from NASA, the EPA etc, on what the US is committed to promising in terms of protecting the natural environment and reducing climate change.

Christian leaders attending Copenhagen include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, all the Norwegian Bishops, and the Moderator of The United Church of Canada. Link here to find out more from our blog.

What the new US State Department website says

"Climate Change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet, and the United States is taking significant action to meet this challenge. Under President Obama, the U.S. has done more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than ever before, and is demonstrating its commitment to lead through robust domestic action including historic investments in clean energy, stringent vehicle and appliance efficiency standards, and comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that is making its way through Congress. But no nation can solve this crisis on its own. Climate change is a global challenge that demands a global solution. The U.S. is engaging allies and partners around the world to forge the necessary international response and to achieve a successful outcome at the UNFCCC conference in Copenhagen."

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ARC is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices.
November 5, 2009:
Windsor Celebration 2009
The Windsor Celebration of Faiths and the Environment has been "a huge success", says ARC Secretary General Martin Palmer. As well as marking the launch of hugely impressive long-term plans on the environment by nine of the world's major faiths, the event saw leading secular groups pledge their commitment to work with the religions and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledge the faiths' vital role in discussions on the planet. Visit our dedicated Windsor website