Christians launch climate-change campaign
Operation Noah ñ the new campaign by Christian churches to curb human-induced climate change - was launched in Coventry this weekend as activists converged on the city.
Around 200 delegates attending a conference at Methodist Central Hall were asked to sign a covenant promising to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. They were also encouraged to put pressure on the UK government and world leaders to do the same.
Churches are to be lobbied to sign up to green electricity. A letter was read out from the Coordinator of Climate Network Africa, based in Kenya, welcoming the action of the faith-based groups involved in Operation Noah.
Ms Grace Akumu warned in her letter that 'Africaís hopes and aspirations are being dashed by the blind pursuit of economic development in the industrialised countries'.
Ed Beale, a 27-year old Baptist, walked from Lands End to John OíGroats to raise awareness about Operation Noah.
Sir John Houghton, an eminent meteorologist and former member of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), urged US President George Bush to read the scientific assessments of the IPCC. The US produces one quarter of the worldís greenhouse gas emissions which are contributing towards global warming.
He had strong words for the British prime minister too. 'It is not enough for Tony Blair to make grand speeches' he said, urging specific actions, particularly during 2005 when the UK Government will assume the presidency of both the G8 and the EU.
Operation Noah coordinator, Paul Bodenham, reported that 900 Christians have already signed the climate covenant and he called upon others to do the same.
After the conference, more than 500 people took part in a colourful 'rainbow procession' through the streets of Coventry, led by a youth samba band. A model of an ark was carried shoulder high at the head of it and a 12 foot high 'St. Francis' followed close behind, reminding that care for the natural world is central to Christian faith.