As the world prepares for this December’s crunch UN summit in Copenhagen, two of the Church of England’s leaders are to join forces with Operation Noah, an ecumenical organisation which campaigns on climate change.
The Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, will join dozens of children and farmyard animals on a “Noah’s Ark” journey down the River Thames in July. At the end of the trip, in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster, the Bishop is expected to impress on the UK government the need for urgency and brave leadership when the UK delegation goes to Denmark later in the year.
It is hoped that the UK will play a leading part in negotiating a global deal on capping and reversing greenhouse gas emissions.
Then in the autumn, in the lead-up to Copenhagen , the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will give the annual Operation Noah lecture in Southwark’s Anglican Cathedral. His address will build on the remarks made in his recent Ebor lecture at York University. Operation Noah has asked the Archbishop to offer a contemporary reflection on one of the Old Testament’s best known stories with a lecture entitled: “Noah and the Flood: Lessons for the Twenty First Century.”
“You could say that Noah was the first character in the Bible to be challenged by dramatic changes to the climate,” said Mark Dowd, Operation Noah’s Campaign Strategist. “The story touches on leadership, obedience to God and human responsibility to safeguard creation.”
“Operation Noah is delighted to have these two ‘giants’ from the Church of England adding their voices and support,” he added. “In this year of the Copenhagen summit, it is imperative that we focus on this 'make or break' moment for humanity and our relationship with the rest of the natural world.”
Operation Noah is part of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. This 'double bill' is part of a year-long 'Ark Campaign' which was launched in Cardiff in January.
The campaign calls for worldwide emissions from the global power sector to be cut by 30 per cent by 2020 with a view to getting them to zero some ten years later through a crash programme of investment in renewables and green technologies.