Press Release: CofE General Synod to debate the environment

Author: | Date: 7 February, 2014 | Category: Media Release | Comments: 0

7 Feb 2014

 

A ‘beyond-light-bulbs’ moment? Church of England General Synod to debate the Environment

The General Synod meeting of the Church of England will be debating a motion on climate change and the environment on Wednesday 12th February 2014. The motion challenges the Church to take urgent action on climate change in all areas, including political pressure, disinvestment / reinvestment, adaptation, consumption, poverty and international development.

Members of General Synod have signed a number of statements on Climate Change in the past, including Operation Noah’s “Ash Wednesday Declaration”, and taken part in the “Shrinking the Footprint” project.  Additionally church groupings have published such materials as “Sharing God’s Planet” and the Church of England Report, “Church and Earth: 2009 – 2016 The Church of England’s Seven-Year Plan on Climate Change and the Environment” which was not considered by General Synod, but was endorsed by a number of bishops.

Canon Giles Goddard, who will present the General Synod motion, writes:

“The intention of the motion is very simple – it’s to get the different parts of the Church of England facing in roughly the same direction, so that we can speak more clearly on the complex range of issues which climate change involves. We are proposing to strengthen and upgrade the existing “Shrinking the Footprint” committee so that it has more weight and is more able to facilitate and encourage the Church of England, at all levels from congregation to bishops, to be active in this area. My hope is that this motion will enable and encourage the Church of England to be a clearer voice on climate change; that we will go beyond changing light bulbs and speak and act prophetically to a world that has lost its way.”

Christian Ecology Link has signed a Statement to the General Synod which reflects those of a number of other organisations, asking for support for the motion, and for people to contact their General Synod representative on this matter. Some of our colleagues and members will be taking part by contributing social media on Twitter, Facebook and our website.
Bold green words have been spoken. Now, perhaps, it is time for action with an urgency and scale commensurate with the enormous risk that climate change poses to the next generation and God’s creation.

Some of CEL’s members will be taking part by contributing social media on Twitter, Facebook and CEL’s website.

Ruth Jarman, trustee of CEL said:

“Bold green words have been spoken. Now, perhaps, it is time for action with an urgency and scale commensurate with the enormous risk that climate change poses to the next generation and to God’s creation.”
ENDS ——————————————————————————

REFERENCES:

Agenda for General Synod

Environment Motion (from Southwark Diocesan Synod)

Background note from the Ethical Investment Advisory Group

Background to the Motion

Ash Wednesday Declaration

Shrinking The Footprint

Sharing God’s Planet (A book, 2005)

Church and Earth: 2009 – 2016 The Church of England’s Seven-Year Plan
on Climate Change and the Environment

Joint Statement from CEL and other organisations

 

THE MOTION, PROPOSED BY SOUTHWARK DIOCESAN SYNOD, IS:

‘That this Synod:
(a) recognising the damage being done to the planet through the
burning of fossil fuels;
(b) aware of the huge reserves held by gas, oil and coal extraction
industries;
(c) committing itself to taking seriously our Christian responsibility
to care for the planet (“the earth is the Lord’s”);
(d) acknowledging the financial responsibilities of the Church’s
national Investing bodies; and
(e) noting that a review of recommended ethical investment policy with
regard to climate change has been begun by the Church of England
Ethical Investment Advisory Group (‘EIAG’):

(i) call upon the national investing bodies to ensure that their
investment policy (including the option of disinvestment) is aligned
with the theological, moral and social priorities of the Church which
find expression in the reports “Sharing God’s Planet” and “Church and
Earth 2009-2016” and in the “Shrinking the Footprint” campaign;
(ii) call upon the EIAG to publish the report of its review by the end
of 2014; and
(iii) agree to the establishment of a General Synod Working Group on
the Environment, to monitor this and other environmental issues.’

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