Fight global warming for the sake of my country, pleads Bangladesh bishop

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

Christians who care about climate justice will be among the thousands expected to march in London today on the eve of critical international climate change talks in Nairobi.

Before the march, the Anglican bishop of London will be leading a prayer service at which the letter from a fellow bishop in Bangladesh will be read.

The bishop, Michael S. Baroi of Bangladesh warns: “One very simple truth about Global Warming is this, that it will spare nobody, however rich, mighty and powerful we think we are.

He continues: “Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of the UK once said that without proper action now, the average global temperatures would rise by 2 degrees Celsius.  Scientists estimate that the subsequent rise in the sea level would be enough to swamp a large proportion of Bangladesh in 30/40 years time.  It would be a serious catastrophe for my country and for the whole region if much of the land in Bangladesh disappears under the sea.

“I become frightened to think that my grand children (when I touch them) will have no place to live on this planet earth. I really want to be sure that my grandchildren, and their children after them, will be able to enjoy the beauty of my country that I have enjoyed, and be able to have enough land to live, and enough land for food."

After the ecumenical service of Challenge, Commitment and Blessing, organised by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, the Anglican Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, will lead the congregation to join the march at Trafalgar Square.

Fr Joe Ryan (Chair of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster Justice and Peace Commission) and Dudley Coates (Vice-President of the Methodist Conference) are also taking part in the service .

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change published this week  set out the risks of climate change for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Countries like Bangladesh face increased disease, floods and famine.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland helps the Churches to think, work and pray together. It is the official ecumenical body which brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions. Its work includes racial justice, inter faith relations, international affairs, global mission, faith, unity and spirituality.

Picture shows flooding in Bangladesh in 2004.