Becoming an environmentally aware church is so much more than looking after your building in an efficient way.
This journey affects every aspect of your life as a church. It’s about holistic mission.
Responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation.Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The environment is God’s gift to everyone.
And we have a responsibility towards each other to protect it. We cannot think of ourselves as isolated from others or from creation.
Our impact on the planet is reducing biodiversity, changing the climate, and polluting the earth.
Around the world, climate change is affecting food security, creating social vulnerability, and disrupting peace and security. There is no doubt we need to act.
But there is good news.
Almost every action you take will have a positive impact:
- Cutting down air pollution will improve health
- Saving energy saves you money
- Eating less meat and more vegetables is good for you
- Buying Fairtrade means a better deal for farmers
Large or small, your actions come with big practical paybacks.
When we believe in transformation at the local and personal level, we are laying the sure foundations for change at the national and international level.Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury 2002-2012
What is climate change?
The Earth's climate is not static. Over the billions of years of its existence, the Earth has changed many times in response to natural causes.
But when people talk about climate change today, they mean the unprecedented changes in temperature over the last 100 years caused by human activity.
Our Earth's rising temperature
Over the last 100 years, the average temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface has risen by about 0.9 degrees Celsius.
Almost all climate scientists agree that global temperatures will continue to rise. By how much depends on us.
In 2015 all the world’s nations committed in the Paris Agreement to working to keep global temperatures ‘well below’ 2oC and ‘endeavour to limit’ them to 1.5oC.
The effects of rising temperatures
If the temperature rises over 2 degrees, the impact could be extreme. And it will be difficult to cope with.
There are likely to be more extreme weather events (e.g. heat waves, floods, tropical storms, etc.) and sea levels will continue to rise.
These effects will become more likely and will have a bigger impact when they happen.
Unless we take action to reduce our CO2 emissions now.
Find out more:
- UK Government’s policy on climate change adaptation
- Met Office’s climate guide
- NASA and the consequences of climate change
- UK’s climate projections for 2080
- WWF’s Living planet report 2016
The five marks of mission
Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and renew the life of the earth.
As Anglican’s, we’ve been called to follow the five marks of mission. All are deeply relevant to environmental action:
- Proclaiming the good news of the Gospel
- Responding to human need
- Transforming unjust structures of society & pursuing peace
- Safeguarding creation & renewing life on earth