*** DEBUG END ***

Planet needs us all to behave, says Bishop of Oxford

28 October 2022

Radical action needed in this decade and the next, says Dr Croft


THE Bishop of Oxford, Dr Steven Croft, has called on the Government to support behaviour changes as part of the pathway to net zero emissions.

“We face many challenging issues as a country and a world, but none is more serious than climate change and the environmental crisis,” he told the House of Lords on Thursday of last week.

Dr Croft, who is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Environment and Climate Change, referred to the committee’s new report, In Our Hands: Behaviour change for climate and environmental goals, which offers recommendations of ways to support behaviour change.

“The world is agreed that to avert disaster in our lifetimes we need to reach net zero by 2050 or before,” he said. “That means radical action in this decade and the next.” The select committee agreed with the Committee on Climate Change that behaviour change was “a key element” in that journey.

“This includes the adoption of new technology and changing habits and practices around diet, transport, heating, and consumption. Each of these behaviour changes has significant co-benefits, and all have potential economic benefits. They are essential stepping stones on the path to net zero.”

Responding to climate change was a challenge for everyone, he said: individuals and families, charities, churches and faith communities, local government and business. “All the different agencies must work together, but to do that means common policies and clear leadership.”

Dr Croft paid tribute to what he called the Government’s “imaginative and committed leadership” in some areas, but, he said, there was a lack of co-ordination. “There are significant gaps in understanding the challenge from department to department. There is too little joined-up thinking and policy. There are quick wins not being adopted. There are massive areas for development and new policy, particularly around domestic heating. . .

“The leadership and committee structures within government are opaque. There is a lack of expertise and knowledge within government. There has been no real attempt at public information and engagement campaigns. Confusion and discord over public guidance on energy-saving tips for this winter have been reported in just the last week.”

The debate was held in the shadow of the leadership crisis, beginning less than an hour after the resignation of the Prime Minister, Liz Truss, something that was reflected in the contributions of speakers.

None the less, Lord Callanan, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was at pains to emphasise the Government’s recognition of the scale of the issue.

“Achieving our net zero target will be challenging and will require enormous changes to our energy systems and infrastructure,” he said. “We take the concerns raised in the Select Committee report seriously and will carefully consider all its recommendations.”

He said: “We are committed to taking practical steps to support the public in making green choices in a way that supports their fundamental freedoms, supports their freedom of choice and maintains their individual freedoms. We will continue to take this approach across net-zero policies to support the UK’s transition to a green and sustainable future.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)