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Operation Noah, which was set up in 2004 to provide a Christian response to the climate crisis, is a small charity with big ambitions. In 2022, we were shortlisted for the David & Goliath Award as part of the National Campaigner Awards presented by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation – a recognition of our small size but big impact in taking on a giant issue!
We work with churches of all denominations to address the climate crisis, particularly through our Bright Now campaign, which encourages churches to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions like renewable energy. Our Bright Now campaign is also starting to work with churches on large-scale, nature-based solutions, from increasing tree cover to other environmentally-sensitive ways of managing church land.
We are faith-motived, science-informed and hope-inspired.
What has the climate crisis got to do with being a Christian?
Operation Noah believes that the likelihood of runaway global warming raises questions that go to the heart of our Christian faith.
We believe that God’s creation is a gift that we have a duty to care for, and that the wellbeing of creation matters to God. We must repent for the damage we have done to the earth and live differently.
We also believe that climate change is about justice, because the poor of the world – those who have done the least to cause it – are already suffering the devastating consequences of the climate crisis. Acting on climate change is about loving our neighbours: that means those in other countries and future generations too.
In 2012, Operation Noah put together a theology think-tank to look at the biblical basis for a Christian view on climate change. The resulting document, Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church, was signed by church leaders from all the major UK denominations.
The climate crisis is one of the biggest issues confronting humanity. So how do we sustain hope in the midst of fear and denial?
Hope in God motivates us to take action that can lead to transformation. By God’s power at work within us, God is able to accomplish more than we can ask or imagine.
We are called to faith and action in a trusting response to God. As Christians, while we may at times feel despairing, we can live in hope, despite the dangers that threaten us.
In partnership with churches, we build courage in society for necessary decisions to be taken at a national and international level. Seeking the grace of the gospel, we proclaim a renewed humanity, set free from unsustainable and dangerous patterns of consumption.
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.