Copenhagen, climate change and religious lobbying

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, on Dec. 7-18, 2009, put an international spotlight on the environment and drew world leaders, including President Barack Obama, to talk about humanity’s role in global warming. The conference drew unprecedented attention from religious leaders and groups that were increasingly mobilized on the issue.


ReligionLink has a number of resources for reporters covering this story, in particular our comprehensive source guide on religion and the environment. See all of ReligionLink’s environment-related editions here.

The Copenhagen conference continued a process that was launched in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro when representatives of 192 nations adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The pact signed at Rio set up a system for sharing information on emissions of heat-trapping gases but set no goals for reducing gases.

A subsequent meeting of 37 industrialized nations and the European Union in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 established what is known as the Kyoto Protocol. The protocol was never ratified by the U.S. Congress.

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