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Science is crucial to an informed faith. It does not answer the moral or spiritual questions but it helps us understand the issues we need to address.
For Christians, science is a way of understanding what we can of God’s creation through using experimental methods and drawing inferences from these.
Climate science is still uncertain in the sense that all human knowledge is provisional and open to correction, but climate models have proven to be extremely reliable.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the United Nations’ body that assesses climate science – estimates that human activities have now caused more than 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. Limiting global heating to 1.5C and thus preventing the most serious impacts of the climate crisis will require cutting global greenhouse gas emissions almost in half by 2030.
There is now an overwhelming consensus from climate scientists that the evidence for human-caused global heating is ‘unequivocal’. The primary driver of global heating is the burning of fossil fuels, which is why the most urgent thing we must do is move away from our dependence on oil, gas and coal and scale up renewable energy.
The International Energy Agency has said there can be no new fossil fuel developments anywhere if we hope to limit global heating to 1.5C. We currently have more oil, gas and coal from existing developments than we can safely burn.
Through research and analysis, we help equip the UK’s churches with an understanding of the science behind the climate crisis – science that informs what we must do in order to prevent the worst impacts of global heating.