Green Christian urges CoE to set ambitious carbon targets

Source: Green Christian

Green Christian has welcomed plans by the Church of England, announced last week, to "recognise the Climate Crisis and step up its action to safeguard God's creation." However, it questions the Environmental Working Group's proposal that General Synod should support the Government's carbon reduction of net zero carbon by 2050.

Deborah Tomkins, Co-Chair of Green Christian, said on 13 November: "Christians ought to set the highest standard of ethical behaviour as an example to others. The 2050 target will dismay those in the Church who expect its leaders to inspire change rather than mimic societal norms." She indicated that Green Christian will campaign over the coming months for members of the General Synod to adopt a far more challenging target. Tim Cooper, a Green Christian Trustee and Professor of Sustainable Design and Consumption at Nottingham Trent University, added: "Experts increasingly agree that the Government's 2050 deadline is inappropriate. Institutions, regional authorities and opposition parties are increasingly advocating 2030 as a target - and even this may be inadequate. The Working Group's current proposal is weak and indefensible."

The issue came up at Green Christian's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London on 9 November, where it was suggested that the Church of England should not necessarily simply follow government policy? Questions were being devised for putting to election candidates.

At the AGM, Green Christian's out-going chair Paul Bodenham, who is the Justice and Peace fieldworker for Nottingham diocese, introduced a session on Faith and Extinction. What should a person of faith feel in a time of mass extinction? Paul asked. He then introduced Stefan Skrimshire (Associate Professor in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds) and Jeremy Kidwell (Senior Lecturer in theological ethics at the University of Birmingham) who have been researching issues around Faith, Climate Change and Extinction. Stefan and Jeremy spoke about their work and their development of resources to engage the public with question of religious/spiritual faith and the extinction crisis. They were interested in how faith interacts with public policy on extinction and climate change, and how extinction both troubles, and can find clarity in relation to, religious faith.

There was acknowledgment of a new visibility of religious protest - for instance the use of traditional liturgies/services/ceremonies within a protest - and the spirituality inherent in Extinction Rebellion (XR). Also, a new prominence of clergy/faith leaders in protest is noted. There was a recommendation that Ecology be included in colleges and seminaries' curricula where religious leaders are trained.


Green Christians' Questions to ask General Election Candidates

Tags: Election, Green Christian, Paul Bodenham, Extinction Rebellion

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