The United Nations Climate Change Conference, on Dec. 7-18, 2009, put an international spotlight on the environment and drew world leaders, including President Barack Obama, to talk about humanity’s role in global warming. The conference drew unprecedented attention from religious leaders and groups that were increasingly mobilized on the issue.
ReligionLink has a number of resources for reporters covering this story, in particular our comprehensive source guide on religion and the environment. See all of ReligionLink’s environment-related editions here.
The Copenhagen conference continued a process that was launched in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro when representatives of 192 nations adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The pact signed at Rio set up a system for sharing information on emissions of heat-trapping gases but set no goals for reducing gases.
A subsequent meeting of 37 industrialized nations and the European Union in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 established what is known as the Kyoto Protocol. The protocol was never ratified by the U.S. Congress.
Related items of interest
Read a ClimateWire article posted by the Times about a dramatic drop in the percentage of Americans who say they believe in global warming.
A 2oo9 Pew Global Attitudes survey found that concern about climate change is far lower in the U.S., China and Russia than in other major countries.
Read a Dec. 3, 2009, column at Sightings, titled “Faith and Science: At War No More.” It is written by Martin Davis, former director of the Congregational Resource Guide.
Read a Dec. 3, 2009, blog post, “Climate Talks Blow More Hot Air,” by Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council. Perkins and the FRC reflect the views of many conservative Christian skeptics.
Catholic News Service writes about the Vatican delegation to the conference in this article.
A “pray for climate change” service held in Australia drew a number of global faith leaders, according to an Anglican Journal article. The leaders are in Melbourne for the Parliament of the World’s Religions, where climate change from a spiritual perspective is expected to be discussed.