COP21 Climate Change Summit - Statement

The Methodist Church inBritain have released a statement regarding the recent agreementsmade at the COP21 climate change summit in Paris which concluded onSaturday.

Nearly 200 nations were involved in the negotiations to limit therise in global temperatures to less than 2C. The agreement ispartly legally binding and partly voluntary.

Key points -

  • Keep global temperature increases "well below" 2C (3.6F) with agoal of 1.5C.
  • Peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve abalance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the secondhalf of this century.
  • Review the progress every five years.
  • Provide $100 billion a year to developing countries by 2020 toassist them in reducing greenhouses gases.

President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Steve Wild,commented:

"We are delighted with the historic achievement at the climatesummit in Paris.  Our Lord's call to us to be disciples isoften challenging. When God entrusted his creation to our care henever said that it would be easy. In our churches we recommitourselves to tread more lightly on the earth. We pray that we canwork together for the common good remembering that we are called tobe reconciled to God and to one another in love."

Vice President of the Methodist Conference, Dr Jill Barber,commented:

"In the past few years the government's implementation of afeed-in tariff for solar panels has led to the installation of atleast 70 solar panel systems on Methodist churches as well as theDistrict manse in which I live! This demonstrates how sensiblepublic policy can inspire individual and community action. Yet thegovernment now proposes to cancel a scheme that has been successfulin unlocking capital and engaging commitment on the part ofhouseholders and local community groups. The agreement in Parissuggests that we need more collaboration between Government,individuals and communities around climate change, not less."

Steve Hucklesby, Policy Adviser for the Joint Public Issues Teamand specialist on climate change, commented:

 "In the light of the achievement in Paris the UKGovernment's proposed cuts to incentives for investment inrenewables need to be reconsidered. We cannot simply replace theburning of coal with gas. In the past our Churches called for 60%of our electricity to be generated from renewable energy by 2030.We need leadership from our government so that we can all see moreclearly the path that our nation must take to a low carbonfuture.

 You can read Steve's blog regarding the Joint PublicIssues Team, here.