Fight Harder, Gregory Barker !

Image Credit : Christian Ecology Link

CHRISTIAN ECOLOGY LINK
PRESS RELEASE
26 NOVEMBER 2011

MINISTER TOLD TO FIGHT HARD FOR THE CLIMATE AT DURBAN

Minister of State for Climate Change, Gregory Barker MP faced questions from a local coalition of charities and environmental campaign groups at an ‘African Climate Connection’ event ahead of the United Nations conference in Durban, South Africa.

The event took place on Saturday 26 November at St Peter’s Church, Bexhill a few days before Mr Barker was due to fly to Durban to participate in the negotiations.

Gregory Barker said ‘I am concerned about the lack of urgency at the climate talks. The COP climate conferences are becoming a way of life for some people. We need to look at the science. In Durban I want to close the gap between countries’ pledges and what scientists say we need.’ He pledged to work for global agreement for a single legally binding treaty to keep temperature rises below 2° Celsius while acknowledging how difficult this will be. He also wants to move forward the work on climate finance, adaptation and protection of forests started at Cancun.

The group called for the government to take a lead at the climate talks by ensuring more finance is made available for developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change, develop low carbon economies and protect forests. Denis Lucey of CEL and the WDM said, ‘Climate change has largely been caused by rich industrialised countries like the UK. Poor countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Mozambique desperately need funds to help them deal with climate change, but the World Bank loans being pushed by our government will only drive them deeper into poverty. We are asking Greg Barker to take our concerns to the UN talks and help ensure that solutions to climate change also tackle poverty. Otherwise they won’t work.’

Jack Doherty, local Fairtrade leader, asked the minister to take with him to Durban an apology from the developed world on the damage we have caused to the climate with our emissions.

CEL Secretary Barbara Echlin ended the meeting with a strong plea to the minister to fight hard for the vital global deal that the world needs if we are to avoid climate chaos, storms and droughts.

The event was attended by over 60 people and supported by a mix of local branches of national charities and agencies, and locally based groups: Bexhill Environmental Group, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Christian Ecology Link, Fairtrade Bexhill, Friends of the Earth, Operation Noah, Rother Environmental Group, Tearfund, United Nations Association and World Development Movement.

NOTES

Photo: CEL and WDM members Barbara Echlin (foreground), Denis and Christina Lucey presenting Mr Barker (second from left) with a long paper chain bearing messages demanding climate aid be given as grants, not as loans, and for the money to be channelled through the new green climate fund instead of the World Bank.

CEL Secretary Barbara Echlin chaired the meeting. She attends St Peter’s church and believes care of the environment to be a Christian issue. She has had an array of solar PV panels on her roof for five years and is part of the CEL ecocell group trying to reduce household emissions – http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/ecocell

CONTACT DETAILS : For further information, contact Barbara Echlin : secretary@christian-ecology.org.uk

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