Nobel Peace Prize winner to address inter-church climate justice event

Nobel Peace Prize winner John Sweeney (centre) will address a climate justice event in the North West next month.
Nobel Peace Prize winner John Sweeney (centre) will address a climate justice event in the North West next month.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor John Sweeney will address a climate justice event in Letterkenny next month, which is being organised by the inter-church environmental campaigning group, Eco–Congregation Ireland (ECI).

The Emeritus Professor at NUI Maynooth was one of the contributing authors and a review editor of the alarming Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and as such, shared, with several hundred other climatologists, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

He has been invited to speak at the ‘Climate Change: the clock is ticking’ event in Letterkenny on Friday (February 13) at 7.30pm.

The event, which will be open to members of the public, will be co–hosted by ECI and Raphoe Justice and Peace Group, in the Regional Cultural Centre.

Encouraging people in the North West to attend this event, ECI chairperson, the Ven Andrew Orr, said: “We are delighted that renowned climate scientist Prof John Sweeney is addressing this event.

“He will remind us all that the time is running out for us to address the most pressing environmental issue of our time, and that neither the British nor Irish governments appear to be serious about tackling our carbon footprint. Christians should be at the forefront of environmental concern, because we believe that this is God’s world and we are expected to take care of his creation. I hope as many people as possible will be able to attend this important and inspiring event.”

Professor Sweeney warned: “Time is running out for taking decisive action to avoid dangerous climate change. In Ireland political paralysis and vested interests are preventing us from meeting our agreed international obligations.

“As individuals and a society, our ethical responsibilities demand we take seriously what is generally agreed to be the major problem of the 21st century. As preparations continue for what will be a crucial UN meeting in Paris in December, it is clear that a radical change in our approach is required if we are not to condemn the next generation to a seriously damaged planet.”

He is currently leading a research programme into the impacts of climate change in Ireland and into the production of climate scenarios for Ireland for mid and end century.

Following his talk, members of two eco–congregations will give short presentations about the steps they have taken to ‘green’ their churches.

All are welcome to this event. Suggested donation: 10 euros.

For further information – and to see ECI’s wide range of resources, including a new resource on climate change – see www.ecocongregationireland.com