Bishop calls for UK 'net zero' commitment as climate change report published


The Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment has said that a report published today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals a ‘critical risk-level’ for global communities.

Speaking from the European Churches Environmental Network in Katowice, Bishop Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, urged the UK Government to commit to a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

"The evidence published by the IPCC today shows that the risk level of climate change is now critical. Ours is the first generation to know and understand this and probably the last to be able to do something meaningful towards climate justice,” he said.

“This year has been the hottest on record. Extreme weather events happen with increasing frequency, and the poorest are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change which affects us all.

“For Christians, striving to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustaining and renewing the life of the earth is at the heart of what we believe. We have a narrow window now to act if we are to protect God’s creation for generations to come – as individuals, communities and as a global family.

“The Church of England is playing its part with around 2,000 churches now running on green energy tariffs, and as a voice in the ear of companies in the seven highest emitting sectors through its investment portfolio, leading shareholder resolutions to expedite transition to a low carbon future.

“We can, and we must do more to pick up the pace of change. This is a holistic and positive change, with benefits for the way we live together.

“Building on the 10-year anniversary of the Climate Change Act, an ambitious UK government would seek to be a world leader by committing to a target of net zero emissions by 2050.”