At a time when political leaders are struggling to pass environmental legislation in the USA and elsewhere, in large part because of the potential economic costs, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon says religious leaders
"can have the largest, widest and deepest reach" when it comes to influencing
the outcome of the summit.
In all, as many as 100 religiously affiliated representatives from the USA
plan to attend the summit, estimates Tyler Edgar, assistant director for the environmental arm of the NCC. Worldwide, she says that number will likely run "in the hundreds."
That explains why religious groups are uniquely positioned to not only influence the political debate
, but also be an active part of environmental solutions, says Olav Kjorven, an assistant secretary-general at the U.N. who was at Windsor. He says religious institutions can use their influence
to promote investment in industries that emit less carbon, support education on environmental issues in schools, and make places of worship more environmentally friendly
Pope To Climate Summit: Respect God's Creation
Story Discussion Posted: Sunday, December 6, 2009 5:25 am
Pope Benedict XVI has told world leaders attending the climate summit in Copenhagen that caring for God's creation requires they adopt sober and responsible lifestyles.
Benedict said Sunday he hoped the meeting, which opens Monday, would outline actions that respect creation and promote development while respecting human dignity and the common good.
The Vatican, which has U.N. observer status, is sending a delegation to Copenhagen.
Benedict has spoken out frequently about the need to care for the planet, dedicating a good part of his last encyclical to the issue. Under his pontificate, the Vatican has also installed photovoltaic cells on the roof of its auditorium and begun a reforestation project aimed at offsetting its C02 emissions.