Statement on the IPCC assessment and report of 30 September 2013.
Philip Fletcher, Chair of the Mission and Public Affairs Council of the Church of England, has issued a statement in response to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) fifth assessment report. (Full draft published September 30)
“The assessment represents the carefully considered consensus of expert scientific opinion on what is happening to our climate, and what it implies for the future. We should be deeply concerned about the effects. The world is warming; this is directly linked to the sharply increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. And the main cause of that is so extremely likely as to be virtually certain: it is our activity as the human race, primarily in burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Each of the successive IPCC assessments has broadly confirmed the conclusions of its predecessors.
“As Christians we believe we are called to be stewards of God’s creation. One of the 5 marks of mission identified by the Anglican Communion – what we believe God is calling us to do – is to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the earth. The picture presented by the IPCC gives us fair warning that we need to change our behaviour and that we do not have long to consider and act on our collective response. The Church of England’s ‘Shrinking the Footprint ‘ campaign is one aspect of our response so far. Each of us individually and together should avoid waste and use energy efficiently. The practical steps needed internationally and nationally are complex and I hope that we shall all be praying for our leaders as they face up to this responsibility.”