Religious groups gather in Cancun to pray for climate deal

12/01/10 Kelly Benjamin
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Over 100 religious followers gathered in Cancun yesterday evening to pray for a strong deal deal on reducing global carbon emissions in Cancun.

Although much smaller than the 5,000 parishioners that were expected the gathering in Plaza del Reforma Square was still somewhat unprecedented for the city of Cancun, uniting Catholics, Protestants and Jews for an interfaith prayer vigil on climate change. Pastor Rudolpho Udepayha was one of the organizers of the event.

"We have people from the Climatic Change and we have also the Catholics, Presbyterians, all kinds of religions. The idea is 'stay here together and pray together to God' to heal the land. We have many problems and we can't stop this problem but for God, nothing is impossible. We can pray to God and he will answer our prayers, we are sure of this."

"We also pray for Hope 16 that is going on, pray for our governments that are there. We also pray for other continents, pray that we are gong to help them, pray that we are going to do something about the earth, and that we are going to guard our Mother Earth because as you can see right now a lot has been done and what we can see is just a mess."

Also attending the prayer vigil was Victor Menotti, director of the International Forum on Globalization. He says that in order to mobilize Mexican mainstream society on an issue like climate change, it's important to reach out to the churches.

"What we need here is to have a strong pressure on all governments at the summit, but particularly the Mexican government because the president of the summit, the COP, plays a very important role in the process. Keeping it democratic and open and transparent. The catastrophe that we saw last year in Copenhagen was, in part, a result of a very manipulative process by the presidency of the COP. which was Denmark. That's who produced this controversial Copenhagen accord which is going to set the world on a path to four degrees which is double the temperature increase which science says is safe. And that doesn't provide the assistance for developing countries to really help them make the transition. So, it's a collective suicide pact as a result of that manipulative process, so the planet can't afford that anymore. Africa, or the island states going under water. Nobody can afford this and we need a strong process with a strong leadership from Mexico."

However, some Mexican citizens say that they're country is behind on pushing green initiatives into Mexican culture.

"In Mexico it's hard because we don't have culture of the separate garbage or to take care of the water or the climate with the pollution of cars. I'm sure that the right thing is that the government would have to invest more money in that to preserve the country but maybe the politicians only think of the power and the money. It's hard, we have to think of the country."

Negotiations on climate change between 190 countries are just getting under way in Cancun and will continue until December 10.

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