While many people are suffering from climate fatigue, now is not the time to be discouraged. Over the next 14 months we will hear more about climate change as we lead up to a potentially world-changing summit in Paris in December 2015, when we hope for a global deal to limit emissions that will halt further climate change.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the scientific authority on climate change and they are crystal clear: we can no longer claim ambiguity about the facts, we are causing the climate to change.
The UN released a report for the latest climate change summit in September 2014 by a group of economic experts, including the boss of Unilever, Paul Polman, former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and British economist Nicholas Stern. The report shows that climate action is affordable for the global economy. It has been given to every government through their UN permanent representatives and directly to heads of government, finance and climate ministers in around 25 capitals. The report, commissioned by seven countries, including the UK, says climate action is economically viable and goes on to propose a 10-point global action plan. We have the evidence, the resources and the steps towards a solution. It’s only political will that is holding back the vital action needed. Our politicians have not heard clearly enough from us, the electorate, that we want decisive action on climate change.
The Bible talks about justice over and over again and at present the poorest and youngest in the world, who have done the least to cause climate change, are suffering its most serious consequences. This global and generational injustice demands an unequivocal response from Christians to call for our politicians to set this right. Our message of good news is undermined if we lack the clarity of voice to stand up for the poor and the powerless, to point to injustice and oppose it. This is not an issue on which the church can afford to be silent.
The Hope for the Future campaign I work for provides resources and a simple action that can have a huge impact. Our politicians need to hear from us and we know politicians are affected by personal letters from constituents. An easy way to do this is to get together with a group of friends, maybe at church, and sit down and write in your own words why you want your MP to take action on climate change. Our website has information and specific policy statements you might want them to commit to, and we’d love to hear from you if you or a group has written to your MP. There are also resources for you to run a service at your church.
David Cameron said this government would be the ‘greenest ever’. Time is running out for him to fulfil that promise. Whichever parties are in power in 2015, they need to have heard that we, the people, want action. This is an exciting opportunity to be proud of our good news message, which offers justice for all.
Based on an article by the Bishop of Sheffield.
(Image: Nicola Jones)