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Churches hail 'coming of age' on climate change

 Operation Noah, the churches' climate change campaign, has welcomed the agreement reached at last week's climate summit to discuss long-term global climate strategy beyond 2012, and challenged the UK Government to declare the hand it will play. The talks in Montreal were called to open discussion on a long term strategy to safeguard climatic stability. Currently the Kyoto Protocol only limits the greenhouse gas emissions of 36 rich countries by about five per cent. These commitments expire in 2012, by which time the world must be on course for far deeper cuts in order to avoid potentially catastrophic impacts. The summit agreed to launch formal, though non-binding, talks on targets to be set from 2012, as well as a further round of targets for nations already in the Kyoto protocol. Revd Dr David Pickering, Moderator of Operation Noah, said: "At Montreal the world reached a long-awaited global coming of age. Time is running out to "cut the carbon" and turn the conference's hopes into reality. We in the West have to accept the lion's share of cuts, including in our homes and churches." The UK, as EU president, played a considerable part in the outcome of Montreal. Dr Pickering challenged the government to declare what position it will be taking in future negotiations. "Operation Noah supporters want them to get global emissions cut to a safe level in a way that is fair for all the world's people. We will be among the first to cry foul if rich countries attempt 'climate piracy' against the poor."