Non-nuclear energy strategy a 'moral imperative' say church leaders
Church leaders have backed a report that describes a low consumption, non-nuclear, energy strategy as a ìmoral imperative.î
The report, entitled 'Faith and Power', urges an energy strategy informed by Christian principles of wise stewardship, peacemaking, justice, love for neighbours and moderation in consumption.
Launched by the church-based environmental organisation Christian Ecology Link, the report urges "a bold switch from using fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy and the phasing out of nuclear reactors in electricity generation.î
The Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Rev James Jones, commented: ìChristian Ecology Link's paper Faith and Power comes to conclusions similar to those of the Sustainable Development Commission which I welcome. What we lack is the commercial leadership to invest in renewable sources of power and the political leadership to reduce our energy consumption.
"People of faith and goodwill must work together to educate and inspire the public to use their own power as consumers and citizens to ensure the future health and safety of the planet.î
Other Church of England bishops are known to be sympathetic to the report's conclusions.
Fr Sean McDonagh, a widely respected Catholic priest and author of several books on environmental issues, has also voiced his support: ìThis document presents a very convincing case. The study is grounded in an authentic understanding of Christian discipleship in terms of the contemporary challenge to love God, our neighbour and God's creation, which is now deeply wounded. It calls all of us to a change of heart in the way we view and use energy.ì
The report was also welcomed by Elaine Storkey, a regular contributor to Radio 4's Thought for the Day and President of TEAR Fund, who highlighted the report's call for restraint in energy consumption and commented: ìThe report shows we need to be meek to inherit a good earth.î
The report responds to an invitation from Government for greater dialogue with representatives of faith communities. It says that energy strategy should be characterised by efficiency, conservation and restraint and welcomes newly emerging decentralised renewable energy supply options. While recognising that Christians will disagree on the detail of public policy, the report argues that such a strategy is the most appropriate in order to take proper care of God's creation.
ìThe high consumption, nuclear path may appear easier for government to pursue in the short term, but we believe that there is a moral duty to follow a more challenging and more sustainable option" the report states.
"We conclude that substantially enhanced Government support for efficient, less profligate energy consumption and investment in renewable sources of energy supply rather than nuclear power is a moral imperative.î