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Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "Our beloved world and the entire creation - that God has given us - are threatened by climate change", write the Bishops of Southern Africa in a Pastoral Letter published on the eve of the 17th UN Conference on Climate Change to be held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December. "While climate change is a process that happens naturally, there is now a general consensus that human activities make this happen much faster. Those responsible for this process are the 'greenhouse gases' like carbon dioxide and methane, which are released into the atmosphere", says the Letter of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC), of which a copy was sent to Fides. The Bishops launch an appeal to put pressure and encourage the South African government, which chairs the Durban conference, to support the following resolutions: to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) so that the increase in global temperature remains below 1.5 ° C; to ensure that current decisions concerning economic development are not based only on the immediate economic needs, but take into account the survival of future generations; forcing the Countries that emit large amounts of "greenhouse gases" to meet its obligations to fund the programs of developing Countries to reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change; South Africa, in the 13th place among the Countries that release more carbon dioxide in the world; commits itself in the production of renewable energy, gradually eliminating coal and nuclear production, and developing the potentiality of renewable energy. The Bishops also ask for the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 (on limiting greenhouse gas) to be extended and that the treaty becomes a binding agreement and that there are real controls in compliance with these agreements. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2011)