Archbishop calls on voters to think green

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The Archbishop of Canterbury has intervened in the election campaign, calling on voters to give politicians "electoral incentives" to tackle environmental issues.

Writing in today's Independent on Sunday, Dr Rowan Williams warns of a "steadily darkening" global environmental crisis in which the world's poor will suffer disproportionately.

He sayspolitical parties cannot be blamed for "minimal" progress on green issues unless voters give them a "genuine popular mandate for change". "Governments need strengthening in their commitments and need electoral incentives."

He believes the time is ripe for a new UN charter, committing nations to wilderness, bio-diversity and "access to natural non-poisoned foods".

To help political leaders have the courage to sign up to such international agreements, voters must make clear that there is "popular motivation" to head off the looming environmental crisis.

He attacks the notion that "unrestricted consumer choice" is a "fundamental human right". Even if we could satisfy our "addictive behaviours", this might not be a "desirable way of envisaging the human future".

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