Churches' climate campaign wants big change of direction on energy policy

By staff writers
1 Feb 2013

Operation Noah will next week call on the UK Government to change the direction of its Energy Bill, which is currently going through parliament.

The call will coincide with Ash Wednesday, a day when Christians traditionally repent of their sins. The New Testament word for repentance (metanoia) literally means turning around and heading in a new direction.

The ecumenical Christian agency believes the government needs a thorough change of mind and purpose in its energy policy.

A year ago, Operation Noah published an 'Ash Wednesday Declaration – Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church', backed by a range of churches in Britain.

One practical outworking of this declaration, the groups says, is the call for a decarbonised economy in the UK by 2030.

But the government's new Energy Bill fails to set adequate targets for reduction in carbon emissions and gives a green light for the building of more gas-fired power stations, locking us in to fossil fuels several decades into the future.

Similar recent criticisms have been made of the Scottish government's response to the issue earlier this week.

However, it is clear that urgent action is needed to completely turn the world’s energy infrastructure around from fossil fuels to renewables, says Operation Noah.

Reports from organisations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the World Bank and the International Energy Agency have issued urgent calls for action to reduce carbon emissions. Yet the UK Government is not heeding the warnings, the campaign group points out.

Isabel Carter, chair of Operation Noah, commented today (1 February 2013): "The UK Government, like many others, assumes that short-term economic policy takes priority over the laws of nature and the laws of physics. Our fragile earth has alarm bells ringing all around. How much longer will we continue to ignore them?"

"Operation Noah calls again for the Churches to make care for God’s creation a primary factor in the Church’s mission, and to join them in calling for the Government to take a lead in working for a sustainable world," she added.

Operation Noah (www.operationnoah.org) is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change.

The 'Ash Wednesday Declaration – Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church' can be found at www.operationnoah.org/ash-wednesday-declaration It was launched on 22nd February 2012

[Ekk/3]

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