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'Love Thy Neighbor' Shows Up at Copenhagen

Many Christians who support climate-change protocols have the least of these in mind.

The Copenhagen Climate Conference (COP15) began December 7 and will continue through next week. World leaders are gathering to negotiate carbon emission protocols that will replace the 1997 Kyoto agreement, which expires in 2012. Robust proposals are coming from African countries, along with Tuvalu and other low-lying island nations, which have already felt the negative impact of climate change. Tuvalu is leading the charge for the Alliance of Small Island States, who want binding proposals to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5C. Their argument is that, as non-industrialized countries they have not burned fossil fuels nor contributed to global climate change, yet are among the most vulnerable to the consequences of rising sea levels.

Christians are not united on the best response to climate change; neither are nations (see this BBC report on where countries stand on Copenhagen). Some are skeptical about the science (especially, perhaps, in light of British and American researchers' hacked e-mails on how to manipulate data to show human-caused climate change), as well as about the United Nations as a governing body capable of overseeing global policy on climate change.

But one organization, 350.org—founded by Bill McKibben, an environmentalist and Christian who has written for CT and Books & Culture—is standing in support of the most vulnerable countries, calling for protocols in line with current scientific consensus. They want to see a fair, ambitious, and binding ...

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