COP21 Climate Change Summit - Statement

The Methodist Church in Britain have released a statement regarding the recent agreements made at the COP21 climate change summit in Paris which concluded on Saturday.

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

Key points -

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

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

"We are delighted with the historic achievement at the climate summit in Paris.  Our Lord's call to us to be disciples is often challenging. When God entrusted his creation to our care he never said that it would be easy. In our churches we recommit ourselves to tread more lightly on the earth. We pray that we can work together for the common good remembering that we are called to be 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 a feed-in tariff for solar panels has led to the installation of at least 70 solar panel systems on Methodist churches as well as the District manse in which I live! This demonstrates how sensible public policy can inspire individual and community action. Yet the government now proposes to cancel a scheme that has been successful in unlocking capital and engaging commitment on the part of householders and local community groups. The agreement in Paris suggests that we need more collaboration between Government, individuals and communities around climate change, not less."

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

 "In the light of the achievement in Paris the UK Government's proposed cuts to incentives for investment in renewables need to be reconsidered. We cannot simply replace the burning 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 more clearly the path that our nation must take to a low carbon future.

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

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