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Church votes to step up efforts to tackle climate change

The Church of England is to step up its efforts to combat climate change and has recognised "the escalating threat to God's creation from global warming".

The church's governing body, the General Synod, voted in favour of a motion on Friday which called for dioceses to focus on reducing their environmental impact.

The Synod voted overwhelmingly for the motion, with 279 supporting it, three opposing and four abstaining.

 

Enid Barron of the Diocese of London, who put forward the motion, told the Synod: "The church can be a very effective ambassador for climate change."

The Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, praised the recent climate protests of schoolchildren, who he said had been "chided" by politicians and "patronised" by political commentators.

He added: "I do not want to chide them or patronise them. I want to say that I am 100 per cent with them."

The move includes a commitment for every diocese to have an environmental programme which is led by a member of the bishop's staff.

The Church will also focus on ways to reduce its own C02 usage in order to help meet its target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

John Giles/PA Wire

 

Despite receiving overwhelming support, Prudence Daley of the Diocese of Oxford criticised the motion, saying any efforts of the church would be "the tiniest, tiniest drop in the ocean" and no resources should be wasted on the endeavour.

She told the assembly at Church House in central London: "If we all do a little, together we will do a little."

Ms Daley added: "I just think we should not kid ourselves that the local church can do anything whatsoever about climate change.

"I think we just need to face up to reality and accept that this is not something we can do."

However Ms Barron dismissed the criticism, saying: "As Christians would we be here today if a handful of disciples who witnessed the resurrection had thought 'we can't make a difference'?"

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