UK-based global development agency Christian Aid has called on governments to build a 'Noah's Ark' at the UN climate change talks in Durban, South Africa, where parties are negotiating a global treaty to limit carbon emissions.
Speaking to reporters at the Durban talks, Christian Aid's Senior Adviser on climate change, Mohamed Adow, urged decision makers to take inspiration from the biblical story of Noah.
He said: "I want to use an analogy from the Holy Scriptures, where Noah builds the ark. We want parties to help build us an ark here, an ark that is going to be strong enough to be able to overcome the challenges and the obstacles that are being thrown at the parties."
The Noah story is in the Jewish and Christian sacred texts. Noah is also a prophet and messenger in the Qur'an, an important figure in Islamic history, and counted amongst the earliest prophets sent by God to humankind.
Adow said that a climate change 'ark' in the modern era will need to be "based on the best architectural design, one that is fit for the job that needs to be done and can adapt to the challenges we are working under and deliver not just now but for the changing conditions in the future."
He added: "The science is quite clear and we know the impacts of climate change are real and are happening today."
With the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, the only international law to protect the world's climate, set to end next year, countries are discussing whether to follow through with previous promises to negotiate a second phase of the legislation.
The alternative would be to adopt a voluntary system which will not be legally binding.
The two week summit will see representatives from more than 190 countries meeting to discuss how to cut global carbon emissions and to create the Green Climate Fund which would see developed countries providing resources for poor nations to adapt to the damaging effects of climate change.