Bishop John Arnold, Environment Lead for the Bishops’ Conference, has joined over 60 UK faith leaders in writing to the Prime Minister to call on the government to deliver new, ambitious plans to tackle climate change.
The UK has the presidency for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference that will be held in Glasgow in November 2021.
The faith leaders stress that, as COP26 President, the UK’s single most important job is to rally all countries to raise ambition and put forward enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that limit a global temperature rise this century to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
The Paris Agreement, reached in the French capital at the COP21 climate conference in 2015, requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs, to set a course towards sustainable development to achieve this global warming commitment.
In their letter, the representatives of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities, emphasise that the UK government can lead by example:
“This is an historic moment for global leadership from the UK, to put forward a world-leading NDC to inspire all other nations of the world to do the same – arguably the most important investment that could be made in all our futures.”
The letter points out the moral responsibility in making a strong commitment:
“Climate change affects humanity at the deepest level, raising profound questions about our relationship with the living world. As faith leaders in the UK, we know this especially because of our engagement with the poorest communities here and around the world who are already suffering most. We must all try to find the moral courage to confront these questions, and to transform ourselves and our society.
“Faith groups in the UK are already taking urgent climate action, with thousands of places of worship switching to renewable energy and religious groups divesting from fossil fuels and reinvesting in measures to protect the environment.”
You can download a PDF of the letter here.