Church calls on all to repent of climate change sin

The Methodist Church is urging Christians to repent of the sinsthat contribute to climate change. A report received by the annualMethodist Conference in Wolverhampton today encourages people toacknowledge their complicity in systems that exploit creation andprey on the powerless.

But the Church also wants to empower Christians to make positivelifestyle changes, in line with the report's title, Hope in God'sFuture.

Revd David Gamble, the President of the Conference, said, "Thefirst step in making a difference is the recognition of what we'vedone wrong so far. But we can't just stop there. We must not bebeholden to economic growth at the expense of our world and thelives of those who are most vulnerable.

"In the face of climate change, do we give up and treat it as alost cause? No. We are people of faith. We can turn the tide if wecommit ourselves to acting together to make our planet a saferspace. So the report challenges the Church to tackle the issue headon, committing itself to significant action over the comingyears."

The report outlines plans to reduce the Church's carbon emissionsby 80% by the year 2050, in line with the target set by the UKGovernment. The Government is criticised in the report for itsfailure to outline how these tough targets can be achieved.

"But we are also challenging ourselves," added David. "We cannotexpect the Government to take the issue seriously if we fail to doso ourselves, and this report outlines some big changes for theChurch."

Bishop Michael Baroi of the Church of Bangladesh urged the BritishChurch to prioritise this work. He said, "By 2050, two thirds of mycountry will go under water and about 30 million people will bedisplaced and have no place of their own to live on this planetEarth, if we do not deal with this issue of global warming andclimate change urgently and seriously".