Christian Aid and Tearfund are the two UK-based agencies involved in a consultation of international church bodies about climate change which will meet in London later this week.
The consultation, hosted by Christian Aid and sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC) Working Group on Climate Change, meets in the capital from 12-15 April 2007. It will look at the implications of climate change for the struggle against poverty in a world where years of development efforts are destroyed in a few seconds or hours by a hurricane or a single flood.
Though global in scope, the presence of the meeting in Britain is likely to strengthen the hand of environment campaigners here in the UK.
It is also significant for bringing together both eumenical and evangelical agencies - reflecting the growing consensus among different sections of the churches on global warming as a priority issue.
The consultation is expected to renew and update church advocacy positions and policy in relation to inter-governmental negotiations on climate change after 2012 - the year when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires. It will also review options for faith communities' participation in a proposed global civil society campaign on climate change.
In reflecting from a theological and ethical perspective on the interface between climate change and development, the consultation will consider Northern societies' responsibilities and how Southern societies can pursue their legitimate development goals. Also on the agenda are readaptation strategies as well as emission reduction targets and timetables.
The meeting will also hear about plans for a global civil society campaign on climate change that environmental organizations together with faith communities intend to launch later this year.
Some 25 representatives of church-related relief and development agencies will join the members of the WCC climate change group at the consultation.
The participating organizations are: Bread for the World/Church Development Service (Germany), Christian Aid (UK), Church of Sweden Aid, Church World Service (USA), Evangelical Environment Network (USA), ICCO/Kerkinactie (The Netherlands), KairosCanada
Norwegian Church Aid, and Tearfund (UK).