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Can religious leaders fight climate change?

Africa HYS team | 16:02 UK time, Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Are religious leaders the right people to influence attitudes to climate change? 


Religious leaders are not the first people that spring to mind at the mention of climate change are they?

But a group of them from Nigeria are currently in London to discuss what role religion can play in engaging people with the fight against climate change.

How influential are faith leaders where you are? 

Are there other issues you'd like to see them championing?  If so, what?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 8 December at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.


  • Comment number 1.

    They should rather rechannel their effort toward fighting for accountability in governance, respect for the rule of law and enduring democracy. This is more important to us (Africans) than the debate about climate change. Thanks.

  • Comment number 2.

    One of the best solutions to climate change is education on the need to stop a wastefull behaviour. In a lot of countries such as most African countries, religion either traditional or adopted from colonial masters (and other foriegn religions) play a major role in the lives of community members. In some cases religion is the bedrock of a family or community unit, so a fight against climate change by a religion will be adopted by its folowers.

  • Comment number 3.

    Religious leaders always walk,act and talk in faith and I think that is what they are trying to exhibit. And with faith the impossible can be possible so let's see them powerfully influencing attitudes to climate change which will be a good and nice strategic solution when it works.

  • Comment number 4.

    Man made climate change theory has become almost a religion in its own right in the west but recently the science that supports the theory has come into question and the theory is loosing ground fast. The west has put its hand up and said that much or the environmental damage that people are seeing in developing countries is the result of western emissions, will people in those countries now accept a retraction and attribute environmental damage to an act of God?

  • Comment number 5.

    Stirring at some people,s comment at times makes me laugh,we need to have insight, recalling our memory back over 2 thousand years ago, on the things foretold,its obviously, the harm has been done, humans can,t turn back the hands of time, we should expect climate change, holding executive meetings wouldn,t solve our problems, if i may ask, can religious leaders call on people to change their evil ways and cling to what is right, the world is passing away.

  • Comment number 6.

    Global warming has had its 15 minutes.

    It's time to move on.

  • Comment number 7.

    I did not know that the Prophet is back to take the children of Africa to the Promised Land. This time there are no seas to cross, but only vapor rising up to the skies, condenses and rain will fall.

    Guri Masiyauta

  • Comment number 8.

    I don’t see why not if they can convince environmental polluters of the effects of letting emissions into the atmosphere.

    Guri Masiyauta

  • Comment number 9.

    No, only the weatherman can do.

  • Comment number 10.

    These people are on another vacation. Their interpretations that every negative thing that happen in this world is God's wrath against are making matter worst. Let the start preaching about climate change and aids in their churches and mosques before going to London.

  • Comment number 11.

    I believe that involving religious leaders in climate change education in Africa is worthwhile, especially since we seem to regard our religious leaders with reverence.
    However my question is what proportion of the dangers of climate change is caused by us Africans? Very minimal. So we rather should focus attention at the doorsteps of those in the advanced countries who are the main culprits.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    They should rather concentrate in fighting child molestation which is almost crumbling some churches of recent.They should equally join in the fight against corruption and other social ills.But don't get me wrong, they can help in the fight against climate change

  • Comment number 14.

    Sure, religious leaders can fight climate change and should be involve in this great fight. Most members of the community belong to one religious group or the other.And the church plays a pivotal role in education - which by implication is one of the fundamentals in the fight against climate change

  • Comment number 15.

    We African seems to be less concern about our environment,though she is more fragile than most other continents,most abused and probably with the fastest growing population, which bring an intense pressure on her.

    The religious leaders should be able to use their position to emphasise that God 1st commandment to Adam is to nurture his environment (which is believed by all African traditional religions & the three Abrahamic religions,which are quite widely accepted in the whole of Africa )

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Isn't it a little ironic that they have flown in CO2 emitting planes from Nigeria to London to discuss climate change when they could have just had a conference call on Skype?!

  • Comment number 18.

    Religious leaders have much to contribute in climate issues, cos their followers look up to them for advice on almost every matter.

  • Comment number 19.

    Sure they can help to slow down climate change in our own enviroment once they accept that mother nature is the only true power on the planet and will soon bite us in the backside.Global warming,human effect on climate change.When are people going to wake up and realise that what is happening is just mother natures cleansing process that comes regular and in many forms,some bad and some catastrophic.Whichever way it comes god and religion is going to have nothing to do with it.Its going to be purely Mother Nature doing what she has always done since the beginning of time as we know it.

  • Comment number 20.

    Why bother trying to influence terrestrial institutions when they can bend the ear of an omnipotent, all-loving sky spirit?

  • Comment number 21.

    Those "religious leaders" who have any faith in the Bible need not worry.
    A prophecy from Reveleation:
    "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign ... The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for ... destroying those who destroy the earth."
    Rev 11:17,18 New International Version

    Shouldn't the One with power to create from nothing, and to destroy, also be able to save?

    Psa 37:29, ibid. "... the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.'

  • Comment number 22.

    Yes They can. It's undeniable how powerful religgious leaders are in influencing their society and the policy makers. Why do you think Ivorian President Gbagbo met with the Catholic leaders of the country? It's clear that they are influencial. Though not enough, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarch as President of World Council of Churches has done a lot in Environmental Issues. I think it is unnecessary to mention an example having no idea of the religious denominations they represent like the one who mentioned how people in Eritrea are sitting idle beciase of religious holidays. This is not true.

  • Comment number 23.

    no they cant do any thing its our governments in africa can do it and
    people must stop cuting forests.

    here in my country most forests have gone people in gorvment have alot of power so even if religious leader can talk about it who can lisen to them when some one needs timbers to sell and get money burn chacol etc.

    let goverments start to teach people whow to use gas then we can start keeping our nature.

  • Comment number 24.

    If religious leaders get involved in discussing climate change,then they will not only be preaching against the word of God but also questioning the greatness of God's creation.We have no control over natural causes,only God does.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    If they can emurate Jesus they can be champions of climatic change efffect! Jesus did not live in His tample and Church alone, He knew the challenges of the World He had come die for and save! Unfortunately, some Church leaders don't even understand the challenges of their communities which they serve! They can understand better the Pulpits and the tith!

  • Comment number 27.

    For me, it is the religion that has played a major role in the co-existence of human being and advance of civilization. In many countries of the world, the power that the religious fathers exercise over followers and the allegiance that people do have for their religious fathers is undeniable fact. Thus, if they can use such a power and allegiance for the environmental protection, I firmly believe that a better result would come.


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