Archbishop of Canterbury calls for UN climate talks in Bonn to recognise “urgent priority” of climate change

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, is encouraging world leaders meeting for the latest round of United Nations climate talks to recognise the “urgent priority” of climate change.

Bonn in Germany is playing host to the UN COP23 global climate talks with representatives of most of the world’s governments discussing how they will meet the aims of the Paris Agreement.

The discussions are being hosted by the Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

In a direct letter to him the Archbishop offered the support of the 85 million people strong Anglican Communion, which he leads as senior Archbishop.

Archbishop Justin said that the communion “supports your work to ensure that at COP23 in Bonn, issues of climate change and global warming are recognised as an urgent priority requiring immediate attention. We are praying for the renewing of our world.”

The Anglican Communion is backing the international Renew Our World campaign, being run in the UK by the international aid and development agency Tearfund.

Tearfund’s Director of Advocacy, Ruth Valerio, said: “The Archbishop is absolutely right when he talks about the need for immediate attention in the battle against climate change.


“I see the effects climate change is having on the poorest people in the world every day. It is dragging many back into the clutches of poverty.”

“Archbishop Justin is one of thousands of Christians around the world who are joining our campaign to urge world leaders to agree substantial plans for how they will cut their emissions.”

“There’s still time to add your name to the list of people calling for promises to be turned into action at the COP meeting at or .”


The Archbishop’s letter sets out what he hopes is agreed at the talks, including targets to ensure global warming is limited to the safe level of 1.5 degrees, and more investment in clean off-grid energy that will reach those in poverty who can’t access national electricity grids.

He also calls for more support for sustainable, low emission agriculture to help communities cope better with climate change.

Archbishop Justin also offers the prayers of himself and the rest of the Anglican Communion for a successful meeting.

Antony Bushfield

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