22 September 2023
Statement in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement on net zero policies
A joint statement by
The Baptist Union of Great Britain
The Methodist Church
The United Reformed Church
We are dismayed that the Prime Minister is delaying the implementation of policies to achieve net zero. As Christian leaders we are deeply committed to encouraging all within our sphere of influence to be ambitious in reaching net zero as we seek to care for God’s creation. This transition must be rapid, equitable and just.
At a time when so many people are struggling financially, the government has a crucial role to play in ensuring the cost of transition to net zero does not fall most heavily on those least able to afford it. Delaying measures to insulate homes will have the opposite effect, and slowing efforts to reduce fossil fuel use will increase climate impacts on vulnerable communities around the globe.
Extreme weather events this year have demonstrated the urgency of the situation. The independent Climate Change Committee have assessed that even current policy measures are insufficient to meet the UK’s climate targets. The government needs to urgently demonstrate how it will get the UK back on track to reach net zero before 2050.
The commitments made at COP26 were instrumental in providing confidence to industry, investors and civil society that the UK was serious about rising to the climate challenge. It is a source of extreme disappointment that the Prime Minister’s announcement will damage that confidence and undermine our collective efforts. As a country, we have moral and legal responsibilities to show leadership in tackling the climate emergency together.
Revd Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Revd Dr Tessa Henry-Robinson, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church
Revd Gill Newton, President of the Methodist Conference
Deacon Kerry Scarlett, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference