Head of WEA Responds to G8 Agreements on Climate Change and Africa

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World Evangelical Alliance

Press Release

The head of the World Evangelical Alliance, Geoff Tunnicliffe, has responded to the agreements on climate change and Africa reached by the G8 leaders in Heiligendamm in Germany last week.

G8 leaders said in a communiqué that, ‘Global greenhouse gas emissions must stop rising, followed by substantial global emissions reductions.’

They also said that a global goal for emissions reductions must be agreed and the G8 will ‘consider seriously the decisions made by the EU, Canada and Japan which include at least a halving of global emissions by 2050.’

Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the WEA, responded to the communiqué by saying, “With clear commitment from the G8 countries, all attention now focuses on UN negotiations on climate change in Bali in December, where serious progress must be made.

“Only if those negotiations start this year and are concluded successfully by 2009 will we be able to say that the world is on course to avert catastrophic climate change.”

Andy Atkins, WEA global spokesperson on environmental issues, gave a cautious welcome to the G8 communiqué on climate change, which he said represented a “significant achievement”.

“The G8 leaders have jumped some important hurdles but there is a long way to the finishing line,” he said, adding, “It is disappointing that they have not yet made any concrete new commitments to help developing countries adapt to the ravages of climate change”.

The G8 communiqué on Darfur, meanwhile, said that human rights violators in Darfur ‘must be held responsible’.

It added: ‘If the government of Sudan or the rebel movements continue to fail to meet their obligations, we will support appropriate action in the Security Council.’

Mr Tunnicliffe said: “While we appreciate the comments of the G8 leaders on Darfur, the leaders simply did not go far enough. No deadlines were given to Sudan in ending the genocide. If we are going to see an end to the killing, we must act now. I expected the G8 leaders to do more.”

In response to the pledge from G8 leaders of $60 billion USD to fight Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, Mr Tunnicliffe said: “This is potentially a betrayal of the promises made at Gleneagles. Millions of people living with HIV and AIDS will suffer as a result of this piecemeal response to calls for long-term funding.

“Whilst it is good news that the G8 has recommitted to providing near universal access to ARVs for people with HIV and AIDS, they are still badly off track for delivering this. The pledge of US$60 billion has no deadline for delivery and will not go nearly far enough to bring them back on track.”

Contact Information:

Marion Uzac, Press Secretary, E-mail: [email protected]

Sylvia Soon, Chief of Staff, E-mail: [email protected]

World Evangelical Alliance (WEA): World Evangelical Alliance is made up of 127 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate member organizations. The vision of WEA is to extend the Kingdom of God by making disciples of all nations and by Christ-centered transformation within society. WEA exists to foster Christian unity, to provide an identity, voice and platform for the 420 million evangelical Christians worldwide.