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'Risk level of climate change now critical' says Church of England Bishop in response to climate report

The Bishop of Salisbury, who leads for the Church of England on the environment, says a UN-backed report published today shows that the "risk level of climate change is now critical". 

Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam was responding to the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which warns that the global temperature rise must be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Otherwise the scientists warn of ever worse flooding and drought affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world.

 

The IPCC says a 1.5 degrees Celsius rise could be passed in twelve years if we do nothing more.

Bishop Nicholas told Premier: "The scientists are saying this is even more urgent than we realised and what they are saying to all of us but especially to our politicians is, we've got to get on with a really fundamental series of changes in order to keep the climate in such a way [that] it's just for all people."

He said an ambitious UK Government would seek to be a world leader by committing to a target of net zero emissions by 2050.Bishop Nicholas told Premier we can make a difference as individuals.

He added: "The ways in which we can make the biggest difference are in the way we travel, the way we eat, less meat, more plant, vegetables, beans and so on, and that makes quite a big difference."

The Rev Dr Darrell Hannah is a trustee for the Christian environmental campaign, Operation Noah. He told Premier that how we respond is a matter of Christian discipleship.

He said: "We need to lead the way with living holy lives. A holy life, we now know, means that we have to tread lightly on the planet.

"Our Christian faith means that we should be responsible to God not just for how we treat one another but also ultimately for how we treat his world."

And Bishop Nicholas Holtam said if we take measures as individuals that has a bigger effect: "One of the things that governments respond to is to people saying it matters to us that you pay attention to this report and that we live in a way that is simpler, cleaner and is going to be carbon neutral by 2050."

You can listen to the whole interview with Bishop Nicholas Holtam and Premier's Paul Hagger here: 

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