MORE THAN 400 Christian leaders from around the UK have called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to cancel the Rosebank oil field, which Christian charity Operation Noah and Church leaders say “will not provide energy security, uphold our obligations to care for our global neighbours or create sustainable jobs fit for the green energy future we need”.

The Christian leaders say, “we do not take a partisan view on Rosebank, we take a moral view. It’s time to show international and moral leadership – and stop Rosebank.”

Among the 427 signatories to the open letter are 20 Catholic and Anglican bishops, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Rev Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of Glasgow, the Rt Rev William Nolan, one of the most senior Roman Catholic leaders in Scotland and the UK.

Other signatories include the Bishop of Oxford (the Rt Rev Stephen Croft); Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church (Most Rev Mark Strange); Head of UK Advocacy and Campaigns at Christian Aid (Jennifer Larbie); General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Wales (the Rev Judith Morris); Moderator of the the United Reformed Church’s National Synod of Scotland the (Rev Paul Whittle); and Campaigns Lead for the Young Christian Climate Network (Dr Chris Manktelow).

The letter from Church and charity leaders comes a day after Pope Francis issued a papal document, pushing back against climate denial, defending climate protestors and calling for decisive action as “the world in which we live is collapsing and may be near breaking point”.

The open letter states, “Your government will know that both the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been clear that we cannot afford to burn all the oil and gas from existing fossil fuel developments, let alone from new ones, and still limit global heating to 1.5°C”.

Rowan Williams, said, “We need to remember that postponing action on the climate is not a neutral matter but makes the problem more acute. Do we really want to leave the next generation with a challenge even more hard and costly than the one we face today?”

Nicky Bull, Vice Chair of Operation Noah, said, “UK Church leaders understand that this is not a time for political partisanship, but a time for moral clarity. Stopping Rosebank is a moral imperative, something faith leaders have made clear with today’s letter.”

* The full letter and list of signatories is here.

* Source: Operation Noah