Displaying items by tag: Paris Agreement
Because of Brexit, the UK must submit its own national climate plan to the UN climate body. Nineteen church leaders have written to Boris Johnson asking him to set ambitious goals when he submits the country’s first climate plan under the Paris Agreement. This agreement commits countries to keeping temperature rises ‘well below’ 2C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit them to 1.5C, which is seen as the threshold beyond which the worst impacts of climate change will be felt. The letter to the Prime Minister was signed by the CofE's bishop for the environment, Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury; the Archbishop of Wales; and leaders from the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union, Methodist Church, URC, and Quakers, as well as 57,000 others who believe the UK could be a true global leader.
As host of the G20 leaders’ summit, Japan has drafted a weak statement on climate action, in a bid to keep the US onside. This follows a G20 executive decision last week in which all countries but the US reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris agreement. Japan is trying to build consensus with the USA, as they are negotiating a trade deal. But other G20 members, including the EU, are expected to push for more ambitious language at the expense of US endorsement. Japanese campaigners are organising protests to coincide with the G20's opening on 28 June. One of them accused President Shinzo Abe of being ‘full of hot air’ when it comes to his pledges on climate action. Also, on 26 June 12,000 people gathered in London to pressurise politicians to tackle global climate change more urgently. See
It is ten years since the Church Times announced its first Green Church Awards. Since then, there have been great advances in scientific understanding and public awareness of environmental issues. Internationally, the new Paris Agreement was ratified in November, with 117 countries signing up. Domestically, recycling is far commoner than it was, and it is now possible to subscribe to clean-energy suppliers. However, globally the outlook is not good, with sixteen increasingly hot years damaging the natural environment and a number of influential voices still denying that there is a problem. The Church needs to play a greater part in this. Its national and global reach put it in a position to influence large numbers of people, even governments and power-brokers. But if its voice is to be heard, its own house must be in order. Fortunately, recent messages coming from the Pope and other faith leaders show how care for God’s planet and our common home is a priority around the world. Organisations such as A Rocha are leading the way in highlighting the issues, and around the country there are thousands of groups and individuals working sacrificially to change the climate - and the climate of opinion.