Statement to the Church of England General Synod debating Environment on 12th February 2014

STATEMENT FOR GENERAL SYNOD

A Rocha UK, Christian Aid, Christian Concern for One World, Christian Ecology Link, Climate Stewards, CTBI Environmental Issues Network, the John Ray Initaitive, Operation Noah, Progressio, the Quakers, the Speak Network and Tearfund are joining together to welcome the debate on climate change and the environment taking place at General Synod on February 12th.

We recognise the crucial importance of this issue to all life on earth, both human and non-human, and the imperative for the Church to be acting on its Biblical mandate to care for God’s world. As England’s national church, the Church of England occupies a unique position of authority and visibility and is thus ideally placed to take a lead on these issues.

Together, we encourage General Synod to address this debate with the utmost seriousness and support the proposed motion, and we commit ourselves to supporting the Church of England and relevant bodies in their future endeavours.

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.’


NOTES

The General Synod of the Church of England is being invited to discuss environmentally responsible investment on Wednesday 12th February 2014. See links below for more details.

Please support this with Twitter and Facebook. If using Twitter, please hashtag as #GSClimate as well as using hashtags from the wider climate movement, such as #divest #ClimateAction and #FossilFree. Please also consider using the hashtag #GeneralSynod and include mentions of @GenSyn and @c_of_e

LINKS

http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/structure/general-synod/agendas-and-papers/february-2014-group-of-sessions.aspx

http://www.churchofengland.org/media/1910033/gs%201942b%20-%20background%20note%20from%20eiag.pdf

http://www.churchofengland.org/media/1910003/gs%201942a%20-%20southwark%20dsm%20background%20note.pdf

http://www.operationnoah.org/PR_southwark_resolution

http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/01/20/church-of-england-unlikely-to-ditch-fossil-fuel-investments/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/17/us-britain-religion-investment-idUSBREA0G1CK20140117

http://brightnow.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/CofE_guidance_BrightNow_21Jan2014.pdf

http://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2014/01/agenda-for-february-2014-synod.aspx

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/cat_general_synod.html

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/006392.html

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18611

http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=22894

http://www.churchestogethercumbria.co.uk/ll-news/454-environment-supports-disinvestment-from-fossil-fuels

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Author: | Date: 6 February, 2014 | Category: Energy Media Release | Comments: 8


Comments on "Statement to the Church of England General Synod debating Environment on 12th February 2014"

Aubrey Meyer:

February 27, 2014

Jeffrey Newman's correctly makes the point that there is a danger - increasingly real - that we may all become the victims of doing too-little too-late on climate change and becoming the victims of runaway rates of climate change and drastic damages. So the issue of the efforts of 'implementation of programmes' is not a question of whether they should happen or not [they obviously should] the issue is *understanding the rate at which these efforts need to occur* if they are not to be wasted. If we are to have some chance of doing enough soon enough we need at least 60% emissions cut globally by 2030 with a 77% increase in clean alternative energy supply. Just a 30% cut with 55% alternative by 2030 gives only a very poor chance of avoiding capture in significant and increasing damage trends. A programme of implementation that is slower than that gives us no chance at all. http://www.gci.org.uk/images/Domain_Three_Briefing_1c.pdf

Jo:

February 9, 2014

From: A Rocha Hi Jo, we've put it up on our website here: http://www.arocha.org/gb-en/14721-DSY.html?branch=1&language=en And we're preparing a short press release.

Jo:

February 6, 2014

Dear Jo, Caroline Pomeroy forwarded me your e-mail about sending you information/links on any pages we might create for the General Synod statement. I have just added a post to our blog and tweeted its link with appropriate hashtags. I shall keep an eye on the various Twitter feeds and re-tweet as much as possible! The page itself is at http://www.climatestewards.net/a-chance-to-have-your-say/ I’ll also add something to our Facebook page a little later today. Best regards Adrian Frost Marketing & Development Manager Climate Stewards https://www.twitter.com/climatestewards http://www.facebook.com/climatestewards

Jo:

February 6, 2014

Dear All, Just to let you know that the John Ray Initiative now has the statement on its web site at http://www.jri.org.uk/news/climate-change-debate-at-general-synod/ and we have also begun Facebook and Twitter promotion. Best Wishes, Martin Hodson

Jo:

February 6, 2014

Ellen Teague writes : "Friends - Just to say that 'Columban Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation' has signed the GS statement. We'll push it all we can."

Jo:

February 6, 2014

Hello Rabbi Newman, You know that, and I know that, but the Church of England is currently headed up by a former oil industry executive, so progress could be anticipated to be, shall we say, viscous. The great carbon transition is something that needs to be for everyone, and no one group can get to the final destination on their own. Any way to start down that path is a good way, and addressing the intersection of climate security and energy security as embodied in major investor portfolios is one entry point that could work. Can BP, Shell, ExxonMobil etc be "redeemed" by shareholder action ? Are their business models sustainable in the investment sense of the word ? With all that unburnable carbon in their resources, should they not think about making the energy transition ? And would a change of heart in major funds influence them ? Any action on emissions is useful, although not everything can be effective. Personally, I don't believe that attempts to price, trade or tax carbon will make very much difference at all, especially considering the differential between the cost of energy and the cost of carbon. The only way to "salvation", I believe, is through a concerted effort on energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy demand control. Not charging for "bads", but paying for "goods". Here's hoping that people start investing in low and zero carbon options. Of which there are many already existing technologies, and a growing number of bankable assets. Contraction and Convergence can only be made to happen through implementation programmes that have resonance. What are your preferred choices ? Regards, jo.

Ruth Jarman:

February 6, 2014

Go C of E! Take this chance to lead the way on what's right and good!

Jeffrey Newman:

February 6, 2014

Too little, too late. Show them the film 'The State of the Science' http://bit.ly/1hZIxCD & tell them that the only scientifically based, equitable and politically feasible way forward is Contraction & Convergence


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