World Council of Churches -
Contact: + 41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
For immediate release:
9 December 2009
Desmond Tutu, other Christian leaders speak out on climate change
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu and church leaders from the regions most affected by climate change will speak out on climate change from a faith perspective during the Copenhagen UN climate summit on Sunday, 13 December at 3.30 pm.
The press conference, preceded by a high-level ecumenical celebration, will be held on the occasion of an international bell ringing initiative, uniting thousands of churches around the world in an ecumenical call for climate justice.
Beyond politics and business – Climate change from a religious and ethical perspective. Christian leaders urge world leaders to agree on a fair, effective and binding climate deal that put the needs of the poor first.
Rev. Samuel Kobia
General secretary, World Council of Churches, Switzerland
Nobel Peace Prize laureate 1984 and anti-apartheid champion
Bishop Sofie Petersen
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, Greenland
Rev. Tofiga Falani
President, Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu, Tuvalu
Sunday, 13 December, 3.30 pm.
(immediately following the ecumenical celebration and bell ringing at the Cathedral, see below).
Church of Our Lady
(Vor Frue Kirke), Copenhagen's Cathedral
(Nørregade 8, Copenhagen, at the Cathedral's Rotunda)
For photo, filming and interview opportunities please contact:
(DCA), +45-2969-9141 or +45-3318-7821,
+45-3028-7853 (11-16 Dec.) or +32-47-896-2013,
(Caritas), +45-3048-8782 (10-14 Dec.) or +39-33-4359-0700,
Half a million signatures for climate justice
Before the press conference, at 11.30 am, on the Rådhuspladsen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will hand over
half a million signatures and pledges
for climate justice to Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC executive secretary.
At 2.00 pm, participants at the UN climate summit are invited to an
in the presence of COP15 leaders and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark at the Copenhagen Cathedral. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will preach the sermon.
The celebration will be broadcast live on Danish television and can be watched later on the website of the
Danish Broadcasting Corporation
(For pool arrangement details, please refer to the media contact persons above.)
International bell ringing
At 3.00 pm, the churches in Denmark will ring their bells 350 times in what will be the central act of a worldwide
international bell ringing initiative
, which will be carried out by thousands of churches around the world. The bell ringing symbolizes the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere according to many scientists.
Churches and climate change
Church policies and actions on climate change are rooted in the Bible, which teaches the wholeness of God's creation and the centrality of justice in the Christian message. In addition to ecological, social, economic and political aspects, the ecumenical movement states that addressing climate change involves a spiritual dimension. From an ethical point of view, it regards climate change as a matter of justice, as impoverished and vulnerable communities in the global South are and will be those most affected by its consequences.
National Council of Churches in Denmark
CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis Climate Justice campaign
World Council of Churches
Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.