Empowering and equipping the Church in the face of climate change

Receiving the report 'Caring for creation in the face of climatechange', the Methodist Conference is encouraging local churches,circuits and districts to monitor and reduce their carbon emissionsand made a commitment to identify resources to support thiswork.

The report expresses concern that current government policies areunlikely to achieve the target of a 60% cut in UK carbon emissionsby 2050. It draws attention to the devastating impact of climatechange on the world's poorest communities and calls for decisiveaction, not only by governments, but also by churches and those inthe business and voluntary sectors.

Anthea Cox, Coordinating Secretary for Public Life and SocialJustice, says; "There are so many ways we can all make a positivedifference to the way our environment is changing. As Christians,we have a responsibility to care for creation and to live in waysthat respect our planet. It is essential that we takeresponsibility for the impact that our lifestyles have upon theenvironment and communities around the world. Through theConnexional Team and local churches we hope to empower and equippeople to make the small changes that can add up to a bigdifference".

'Caring for creation in the face of climate change' also expressedsupport for Christian Aid and the Methodist Relief and DevelopmentFund (MRDF) in their work for justice for those most affected byclimate change and noted the need to monitor the ecological impactof every aspect of the Church's life and work.

MRDF are using a giant red 'carbon footprint' at Conference to showthe impact of the world's richest countries in causing climatechange. It represents the average UK citizen's carbon footprint andis accompanied by other smaller footprints representing those ofNigeria, Cameroon, India, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Myanmar thatdemonstrate the disproportionate responsibility for climate changebetween rich and poor countries. Representatives from the Methodistchurches of the different countries were pictured holding theirfootprints.

Resources to help individuals and churches to take action onclimate change are available from Creation Challenge, theenvironmental network of the Methodist and United ReformedChurches, at www.creationchallenge.org.uk. A video resource for usein churches, house groups and district meetings is now available onthe Creation Challenge website.

A hi-resolution version of the footprint photograph is available here.