A Connor rector is to take part in a 1,000 mile walk to raise awareness of the impact of global warming in developing countries.
Rev Neil Cutcliffe, rector of Mossley parish, Newtownabbey, is participating in Christian Aid's Cut the Carbon march from Northern Ireland to London – a hike which will take 80 days.
The event will get underway at Bangor Marina at 12 noon on Saturday, July 14. The march will highlight the devastating impact global warming is having on millions of poor people in developing countries.
A total of 20 marchers, including the Rev Cutcliffe and 10 of Christian Aid's overseas partners, will sail from Bangor to Troon in Scotland in a flotilla of yachts led by the 'Four Sisters', a flagship of the Ocean Youth Trust in Ireland. There will be a reception ceremony in Troon at 4pm on Sunday, July 15.
The 20 walkers will take eleven weeks to walk via Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth before arriving at the London Stock Exchange on October 2. They will call on companies trading inside the London Stock Exchange to publish a full account of their global carbon footprint in their annual reports and commit to at least a five per cent cut in CO2 emissions per year.
The march will visit 70 towns and cities from Bangor to London. More than 50,000 people are expected to get involved along the way by joining the walkers on parts of the route and attending rallies and demonstrations across the UK.
Christian Aid is also calling on the UK government to:
• Develop a mandatory standard that companies can use to calculate their CO2 emissions.
• Require companies to publish details of their CO2 emissions using this standard.
• Push for a fair international agreement that will deliver at least an 80 per cent cut in global CO2 emissions by 2050.
Deborah Doherty, organiser of the Northern Ireland launch of the Cut the Carbon protest, said: “This is a huge undertaking for the volunteer walkers and we want to ensure that we give them a great send off from Northern Ireland. They can be assured of our thoughts and prayers as they march in solidarity with the world’s poor.”
Rev Cutcliffe said: “Ninety five per cent of people in the British Isles are aware of the fact of global warming and 28 per cent are aware that it is already causing dramatic change as we speak. The trouble is only seven per cent of people are aware that, as individuals, there is something we can do about it. It is that figure of 7 per cent we hope to increase as a result of this Cut the Carbon march.”