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Combating climate change — the next steps

by
01 May 2015

iStock

From the Vice-Chair, Operation Noah

Sir, - In his letter last week ( 24 April), the Rt Revd Dr David Atkinson asks how the Church of England can treat the issue of climate change more urgently. Here are three starters for ten.

First, the Church of England can join the Church of Sweden, and Churches and congregations around the world - together with leading UK charitable trusts and the Prince of Wales - in divesting from fossil-fuel companies.

Such companies appear intent on continuing the development and expansion of coal, oil, and gas, whatever the consequences. Two decades of engagement may have led to a little more transparency, but not to any sign of a change of direction. So many Christians are concluding that it is time to disinvest.

Second, the Church could consider how to reinvest part of the funds withdrawn from fossil fuels in community-energy projects. The UK has a thriving community-energy sector with a vision to produce financially sustainable, clean, low-cost energy owned by local people. Profits are usually split between investors and local communities, and used to insulate homes and lift vulnerable households out of fuel poverty. With support, this has the potential to transform the way we produce, own, and use energy in the UK.

Third, following the encouragement of the recent call to the whole Anglican Communion (News, 2 April), Anglicans can join others around the world in fasting and praying for such change on the first of each month.

The urgency of the issue is not in doubt, but the failure to grapple with climate change leads many to distraction or despair. The Church of England has ample opportunity to demonstrate leadership, vision, and hope.

MARK LETCHER

Grayston Centre, 28 Charles Square, London N1 6HT

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