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Religious leaders try to shake wealthy nations over climate change

ROME – A group of religious leaders have sought to make wealthy nations feel guilty by redistributing their wealth under the guise of climate change-related reparations.

This weekend, more than 40 bishops, priests, ministers and pastors called for “urgent and ambitious action to bring justice to the most vulnerable people and communities” as the COP26 negotiations reach a “critical moment”.

The aim of the “world religious community” document is not so much adaptation to the gradual effects of global warming or even actions to slow the rise in atmospheric temperatures, but rather a commitment to funnel money to them. developing countries of the “global South”. . “

“The current text not only fails to provide a separate mechanism for acting on loss and damage, it also fails to provide a realistic path to new funding,” religious leaders insist, while repeating the oddly dissatisfied mantra that time “passes. “

“Financial texts fail to ensure that the overdue commitment of $ 100 billion per year in support of the poorest countries will be met,” the document says. “The commitment to adaptation, as part of this funding pledge, is woefully insufficient.”

“The current text does not address the fact that most public finances come from loans, which add to the debt burden of climate-vulnerable countries, or access challenges,” say the signatories, obviously without providing corroborating data. for their complaints.

In the final section of the document titled “The Action We Need Now”, leaders call on all parties to mobilize “a separate and additional funding stream” to finance mitigation and adaptation, causing loss and damage. (L&D) “a permanent program of the COP item” and “ensure adequate capacity and funding to support the full operationalization of the Santiago Network by COP27. “

The signatories also demand that the richest governments provide “the 100 billion dollars pledged for 2020 and each year until 2025”.

“It must be a 50/50 split between mitigation and adaptation, must be in the form of grants and not loans, and address access issues so that funding reaches those who need it most.” they specify.

“World leaders must now step up their efforts and provide a clear and actionable text that strengthens previous agreements and puts at its heart those living on the front lines of the climate crisis,” the text says.

Signatories include Acting Secretary General of the World Council of Churches, Secretary General of the Lutheran World Federation, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, Head of Global Advocacy of Islamic Relief Worldwide, Secretary General of All Africa Council of Churches, Acting Secretary General of the Global Advisory Committee of Friends, Secretary General of the Interfaith Network for Climate and Ecology, Representative of the Anglican Communion to the United Nations, Indigenous Anglican National Archbishop of Canada, the Secretary General of the Pacific Conference of Churches, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, and many others.

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