Press Release: Democracy can deliver integrity of creation
Embargoed until until 00:01 GMT Wednesday 20 March 2013
DEMOCRACY CAN DELIVER INTEGRITY OF CREATION
* Churches urged to back first people’s manifesto for democracy and sustainability
* UK Energy Bill amendment is vital test of will
World leaders have failed to make democracy fit for purpose to tackle the major environmental and social threats facing humanity. Climate change, population shifts, natural resource scarcity and the rapid extinction of species will put major pressures on democracy and on democratic institutions unless immediate action is taken. British churches have recognised the Energy Bill currently going through Parliament as just one test of politicians’ commitment to act for the sake of future generations because of its impact on climate change.
If implemented now, a Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainability, which launches today with the support of a diverse group of founder signatories, including Christian Ecology Link, could set a course for change. Its six Principles focus on areas where democracy as a political system most urgently needs to change if it is to deliver a healthy environment and fairness for everyone, now and in the future.
John Lotherington, Chair of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development Foundation (FDSD), the organisation behind the international process that created the Manifesto, says:
“Democracy and sustainability are the two vital elements of what we will pass on to future generations, but their crucial inter-dependence has been neglected. This Manifesto sets out to change that and to inspire creative action worldwide”
Paul Bodenham, chair of Christian Ecology Link (CEL), says
“The Manifesto will help Britain’s churches make new connections between faith and the environment. It brings to bear on the crisis the inalienable dignity of the human – our right and responsibility to create the kind of future we want.”
The Manifesto lays a political foundation for what he calls “the missing pillar of justice” – justice between generations.
The Manifesto is the heart of the Democracy and Sustainability Platform, an online space which invites members to share ideas and actions to get democracy working better for sustainability.
Christian Ecology Link is a founder signatory of the Manifesto. At CEL’s annual conference in Leeds on Saturday, 16 March, CEL Steering committee member Ruth Jarman, a director of the climate campaign Operation Noah, urged CEL members to make democracy work for future generations at this critical stage in the passage of the government’s Energy Bill.
Mrs Jarman and 35 of her neighbours in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, have written to ask James Arbuthnot, MP for NE Hampshire, to support an amendment to include a target for reducing the carbon intensity of power by 2030. She urged others to do the same:
“The Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put the UK firmly on track to becoming a world leading low-carbon economy, boost employment and show genuine leadership in the fight against dangerous climate change. The decarbonisation target proposed in Tim Yeo’s amendment will give industry and the investment community the clarity they need. Without it we could be locked into fossil-fuelled energy for decades to come”.
NOTES TO EDITORS:-
1. Members of the Democracy and Sustainability Platform are individuals, organisations, alliances and networks that have chosen to associate themselves with the overall direction of change reflected in the Manifesto for Democracy and Sustainability. Members agree to share at least one example of their efforts to implement the Manifesto with other signatories at least once a year.
2. Founder members include current and former politicians, experts, educators and activists, as well as concerned individuals and international national and grassroots networks and alliances. Founder members come from 25 countries. They also include networks with global reach. A full list can be found at http://www.democracyandsustainability.org/who-we-are/
3. The text of the Manifesto on Democracy and Sustainability draws on around 330 consultation responses from people in over 35 countries, as well as advice and feedback from an international group of participants at a workshop hosted by Salzburg Global Seminar in December 2012. Further information about the consultation process is available here: www.fdsd.org/manifesto.
4. The Manifesto is available for download in English, Spanish, Welsh, German and Chinese via http://www.democracyandsustainability.org/manifesto/
5. The Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development (FDSD – www.fdsd.org) led the international process that created the Manifesto. FDSD also coordinates the Democracy and Sustainability Platform: http://www.democracyandsustainability.org/who-we-are/
For further information or for interviews with founder signatories of the manifesto, contact Gabriela Flores, FDSD’s media and communications advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0) 7931924934, or Halina Ward, Director of FDSD and coordinator of the Democracy and Sustainability Platform, at email@example.com or +44 (0) 7825 164 996.
6. For details and some pictures of Christian Ecology Link’s conference which took place in Leeds on 16 March, visit https://www.greenchristian.org.uk/stream
7. For details of Operation Noah’s action on the Energy Bill, visit http://www.operationnoah.org/energybill_communityMPlobby
8. For a briefing on the Energy Bill published by the Methodist Church, Church of England, United Reformed Church, Baptist Union and Quakers, visit http://www.operationnoah.org/take_action_energy_bill
See also on this website:
CEL’s Annual Members Meeting in November 2012 when a workshop was run on this topic