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NCC's Edgar discusses climate change,
Poverty in Africa, with Tony Blair

Washington, D.C., June 7, 2005 —National Council of Churches USA General Secretary Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar was among top religious leaders who met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair here today to discuss debt relief and alleviating poverty in Africa and the growing threat of global climate change. Prime Minister Blair called the meeting to encourage religious leaders to push the U.S. government to do more to address these issues.  

“NCC has already been working diligently to advocate for better environmental stewardship and debt relief in Africa and other countries. I am glad we had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Blair to share what we are doing and to discuss how we can move forward in a positive direction to find solutions to these challenges,” he said.  

NCC’s Governing Board passed a resolution in February supporting the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which lay out a concrete plan for improving the quality of life in developing countries. Affectionately called a “Love Letter to the World” since it was passed on Valentine’s Day the letter urges NCC member denominations to support the MDGs. In addition, NCC has developed a church bulletin insert on the MDGs and is also launching an initiative to engage U.S. Latino communities in how to help their countries of origin deal with the debt problems that prevent them from investing in the health and education of their people. 

Through a partnership with the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), ongoing state campaigns that address climate change, and NCC’s involvement in the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, a broad coalition that includes COEJL, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Evangelical Environmental Network, NCC has been promoting policies and practices that will reduce the negative impact of global climate change on people and communities around the world. 

“We recognize that communities around the world are already being negatively impacted by our over-consumption and misguided choices here in the United States,” said Rev. Edgar. “I agree with Prime Minister Blair that we are all in trouble if we do not do something to stop global climate change.”

Contact: Leslie Tune, NCC News, (202) 544-2350


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