THE BALI conference on climate change has challenged politicians and ordinary people to act now, one of the Church of England’s two environmental advisers, David Shreeve, said on Wednesday.
Despite criticism that the UN conference had failed to put hard quotas on carbon emissions, and had not done enough to rebalance the responsibilities for carbon cuts between rich and poor countries, the conference had not been a failure, he said.
The Church of England planned to respond in three ways: to launch a new campaign to go beyond its current “Shrinking the footprint” project; to have a debate in General Synod on climate change as a social- justice issue; and to launch a Communion-wide initiative on climate change at the Lambeth Conference in July.
“There are plans at the start of the conference to launch an Anglican Communion bishops’ environmental group, with a member in every province to ensure that the Communion has a network able to develop initiatives, both practical and theological,” said Mr Shreeve, director of the Conservation Foundation.
The Church of England would also launch an environmental campaign in 2008, “Don’t stop at the lights”, which would build on its energy-saving efforts.
The Church, said Mr Shreeve, was in a unique position to link those who are already experiencing the effects of climate change with those who are part of the cause.
“Bali wasn’t a lost cause. As a result of the meeting, people will be talking, and that is part of the process and we are moving on. While they talk, however, the churches need to act.”
The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church called for governments to show more leadership to save the planet.