Appeal to join historic climate march

By staff writers
January 24, 2007

Christian Aid is looking for volunteers to join the longest ever protest march in UK history.

The charity is scouring churches and communities throughout the UK to look for people who will put their best foot forward for the first ever mass march for climate justice this summer.

Hundreds of marchers are needed to join parts of the eleven-week, 1000-mile ‘Cut the Carbon’ march, including 10 core marchers who will walk the whole route. They will join campaigners from the developing world to protest against the scandalous injustice that poor peoples’ lives are being wrecked by dangerous greenhouse gas emissions pumped into the atmosphere by the rich world.

Letters of recruitment have already been sent to the Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and URC churches and Christian Aid is also talking with leaders of many Black Majority Churches.

Cut the Carbon will be in the tradition of marching against injustice that informed both the Jarrow March for jobs in 1936 and the Nelson Mandela freedom march in 1988. Beginning in Northern Ireland on the 14 July 2007, it will pass through Scotland, England and Wales and arrive in London via Bournemouth and the Labour Party conference eleven weeks later.

"Climate change is the most serious threat to the future of all of us, but the shocking truth is that it’s poor people in the developing world who are already on the frontline of climate chaos," said Paul Brannen, head of campaigns at Christian Aid. "We have a moral duty to stop this now and where better to start than at home?"

The essential messages of the march will be that the world’s poorest are already suffering due to climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions from the rich world. Campaigners are urging the UK government to take action to reduce UK carbon emissions immediately and dramatically – by 5% year on year.

Campaigners are also calling for the UK government to take the lead on negotiating a fair international agreement that will deliver a 90% cut in carbon emissions by 2050.

Christian Aid is reducing its own carbon emissions and has just published its own carbon footprint.

In addition, the charity has switched to an energy supplier that sources from – and funds the building of – renewable energy installations, is reducing staff travel, especially air travel and is taking all feasible energy-efficiency measures.

Christian Aid is committed to reducing its emissions by 5% a year by saving energy, purchasing voluntary offsets to account for those carbon emissions we cannot eliminate and cutting the amount of printed resources that we produce.

In addition, it says it will work with its field offices and partner organisations in poor countries to monitor the environmental sustainability of projects across all its programmes.

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