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The ARC partnership | Why involve the Faiths?

ARC Climate Change Partnership

ARC's climate initiative came out of the gathering of world faiths with WWF at Kathmandu in 2000

The Climate Change Partnership Initiative invited the world’s major faiths to lead by example and work in partnership with environmental agencies to determine targets for energy saving and reduction in emissions.

When it was first suggested, the response from the faiths was far more positive than anyone had anticipated.

ARC took its Climate Change Partnership initiative to the inter-governmental meeting at The Hague in 2000. The meeting was deadlocked by demands from the US, Canada, Australia and Japan for a treaty that would effectively allow them to increase rather than reduce emissions.

The 15 countries committed to work with religions on climate change issues are: Albania, Australia, Belarus, Bolivia, Botswana, Canada, Croatia, Gambia, Mali, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Romania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
How ARC gained support at The Hague

• The Mongolian Minister for Nature and Environment endorsed the partnership as part of his presentation. The Mexican Minister also supported it.

• The United Nations FCCC circulated copies of the proposal to ministers of all nations. It now stands as an official proposal tabled by Mongolia within the framework of CoP6. As such, all national governments present at CoP6 are invited to take up the partnership.

• 13 nations took up the invitation to make it official policy to work with religions on reducing emissions. The UK and US were among those who did not express interest. However, since The Hague meeting an array of different practical partnerships between faiths and national governments have emerged.

Now, in association with UNEP, ARC is developing practical climate handbooks for many of the countries – reflecting needs, beliefs and cultures.

The significance of the Partnership is that it gives a chance for civil and commercial society to bypass the present reliance on governmental action and do something for itself. The partnership concept has already attracted groups from civil society. For example, ARC has been approached by schools from Zambia, businesses and NGOs in the USA and schools and hospitals in India.

With the breakdown of negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol and the fact that the US has subsequently pulled out from the Protocol altogether, action by the religions becomes more urgent than ever.

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