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Liberal Judaism joins Christian Aid in campaign to lobby on climate

The Jewish movement Liberal Judaism has joined forces with Christian Aid to press for a new climate change deal that is fair to the poor in developing countries who are already bearing the brunt of global warming.

The March edition of the magazine LJ Today carries co-branded pledge cards and details of how to sign up to Christian Aid’s international Countdown to Copenhagen campaign on climate change.
On Wednesday 11 March, co-branded campaign materials are being distributed at the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue in London where Liberal Judaism's Chief Executive Rabbi, Danny Rich, will formally endorse the campaign together with LJ rabbis from regional synagogues, ministering the faith’s 10,000 members.

Taking the Copenhagen pledge includes a commitment to:
• Reducing your personal carbon footprint through recycling, reusing and reducing consumption
• Writing to the Prime Minister and speaking  to your local MP to let them know you expect the UK Government and other world to work for a new  international climate change agreement that is fair to poorer countries
• Encouraging friends and family to sign up to the pledge

Rabbi Rich says: ‘Climate change affects everyone, irrespective of religion but the poor suffer disproportionately. The threat to our world is so great that it is vital that Liberal Jews join people of other faiths to lobby for laws that cut carbon emissions.

‘Liberal Judaism is proud to endorse and co-brand the pledge cards. We do this as a core part of our faith. There is also a moral imperative which finds its expression in the concept of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world.’

Christian Aid head of campaigns Paul Brannen said: ‘I am delighted that Liberal Jews are showing solidarity with Christian Aid and joining us in crucial activism to stop global warming. We hope this will mark the beginning of ongoing cooperation on shared campaign issues.

‘The campaign pledge at www.christianaid.org.uk/copenhagen is a mouse click away and I urge all those who care about the planet and global justice to give us their support.’

The Copenhagen climate conference this December will see a new international climate deal agreed that will come into force when the first phase of the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012.

Christian Aid is calling for the rich industrialised countries to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 and to pay a greater share of the cost of global cuts – on top of the actions they are taking domestically.

It wants technology that can help cut emissions shared with poorer countries and wants rich countries to support poorer ones financially in adapting to climate change. But it also says developing countries have to play their part by bringing in emission-cutting programmes that can be measured, reported and verified.

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For more press information, pictures or case studies, please contact Gillian Sandford on gsandford@christian-aid.org or on 07912 407692.

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

2. Christian Aid is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition - the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change.

3. Liberal Judaism - one of the three major strands of Judaism in the UK with over 30 congregations and 10,000 members - seeks to make Jewish life relevant to the modern world.  The main difference between Liberal Judaism and traditional (Orthodox) Judaism is in their respective attitudes to the bible. While preserving the core beliefs and practices that underpin the religion, Liberal Judaism believes that ancient laws must be interpreted to ensure that ethical values and practices take account of what we know and the world as it is today.  Ethical behaviour and social action take priority over ritual.