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6 February 2014: A Rocha UK, Christian Aid, Christian Concern for One World, Christian Ecology Link, Climate Stewards, CTBI Environmental Issues Network, the John Ray Initiative, Operation Noah, Progressio, the Quakers, the Speak Network and Tearfund are joining together to welcome the debate on climate change and the environment taking place at General Synod on 12 February 2014.
We recognise the crucial importance of this issue to all life on earth, both human and non-human, and the imperative for the Church to be acting on its Biblical mandate to care for God’s world. As England’s national church, the Church of England occupies a unique position of authority and visibility and is thus ideally placed to take a lead on these issues.
Together, we encourage General Synod to address this debate with the utmost seriousness and support the proposed motion, and we commit ourselves to supporting the Church of England and relevant bodies in their future endeavours.
The motion, proposed by Southwark Diocesan Synod, is:
‘That this Synod:
(a) recognising the damage being done to the planet through the burning of fossil fuels;
(b) aware of the huge reserves held by gas, oil and coal extraction industries;
(c) committing itself to taking seriously our Christian responsibility to care for the planet (“the earth is the Lord’s”);
(d) acknowledging the financial responsibilities of the Church’s national Investing bodies; and
(e) noting that a review of recommended ethical investment policy with regard to climate change has been begun by the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group (‘EIAG’):
(i) call upon the national investing bodies to ensure that their investment policy (including the option of disinvestment) is aligned with the theological, moral and social priorities of the Church which find expression in the reports “Sharing God’s Planet” and “Church and Earth 2009-2016” and in the “Shrinking the Footprint” campaign;
(ii) call upon the EIAG to publish the report of its review by the end of 2014; and
(iii) agree to the establishment of a General Synod Working Group on the Environment, to monitor this and other environmental issues.’