Uniting Church in Australia President Stuart McMillan has urged the Federal Government to accept the recommendations of its scientific experts and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without any further delay.
“For the sake of the planet and all of its people, the Federal Government needs to take serious and immediate action on climate change,” said Mr McMillan.
“The clock is ticking for developed nations to reduce emissions in a way that avoids the real ongoing impacts of climate change, particularly for our church partners in low-lying coastal areas and islands.”
“With national governments reluctant to make difficult decisions, it falls to us as members of the body of Christ to respond in keeping with our Christian values.”
This comes after former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, gave a speech in London earlier this week, suggesting that climate change is “probably doing good”. Mr Abbott went on to say that establishing climate policies would damage the economy and said it would be like “primitive people once killing goats to appease the volcano gods”.
However, in an Independent review into the future security of the National Electricity Market published earlier this year, Commonwealth Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel found an urgent need for an orderly transition to a reliable and low emissions future.
Dr Finkel and his Expert Panel found that a Clean Energy Target and an Emissions Intensity Scheme would be credible ways of reducing emissions and energy costs to consumers. The Panel recommended a Clean Energy Target be adopted immediately.
“At the time of our foundation 40 years ago, the Uniting Church pledged to uphold the rights of future generations by protecting the environment and replenishing its resources.”
“I call on all people of faith wherever they are, to demonstrate their care for God’s Creation and let their elected representatives know that we expect them to do the same,” said Mr McMillan.
The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly recognised in 2015 that continued investment in fossil fuel industries did not support the urgent need to invest in climate-friendly technologies. The Synod of NSW/ACT, along with the Assembly Standing Committee and the Synod of VIC/TAS, has since divested out of fossil fuels and developed Ethical Investment policies.
UnitingWorld, the Assembly’s overseas relief and development agency, is resourcing our Pacific neighbours through their Disaster Preparation campaign.
Uniting Church members are also encouraged to #HaveYourSei and sign the Pacific Climate Warrior Declaration on Climate Change.
The COP23 Climate Change Conference will be hosted by Fiji in Bonn, Germany from November 6-17, with Pacific delegates meeting beforehand in Fiji to map out their expectations and build mutual understanding.
Originally published on the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly website.