Archbishop Justin Welby 012

The Archbishop of Canterbury has joined faith leaders in Britain pledging to fast and pray for the success of key international negotiations over climate change, in a new declaration warning of the “huge challenge” facing the world over global warming.

Representatives of the major faiths, including Archbishop Justin Welby, said climate change has already hit the poorest of the world hardest and urgent action is needed now to protect future generations.

In the Lambeth Declaration, which will be launched tomorrow, signatories call on faith communities to recognise the pressing need to make the transition to a low carbon economy.

The call comes ahead of the international climate change talks in Paris this December where negotiators from more than 190 nations will gather to discuss a new global agreement on climate change, aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 when current commitments run out. 

The Declaration, signed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and other faith leaders in the UK, warns that world leaders must agree to reduce emissions to avoid average temperatures rising beyond 2C, widely considered to be the threshold above which it is considered that the impacts of climate change will be most severe. 

The original Declaration was hosted by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and signed by faith leaders in 2009 ahead of the Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

The Declaration will be launched tomorrow (Wednesday June 17) by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment, at ecumenical services in Westminster, London, to mark the national lobby of Parliament over the Paris talks.

Signatories include representatives from the Muslim, Sikh and Jewish communities as well as the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Methodist Conference and other denominations and faiths, with more leaders continuing to sign the Declaration.

Hundreds more people are expected to sign up to the declaration as it travels rounds the country during a summer of pilgrimages.

Read the Declaration and view the signatories on the Church of England website.

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