UK faith leaders back Committee on Climate Change net zero report

3 May 2019

Representatives from faith communities in the UK have called for a net zero emissions target

Representatives from faith communities in the UK have called for a net zero emissions target

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, faith leaders have called on the government to set a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target in law to halt climate change.

The letter is signed by more than 40 representatives of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu communities.

A report from the government's climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, says that a net zero target is needed to avoid temperature rises exceeding the 1.5C level which would be disastrous for hundreds of millions of the world's poorest people.

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Politicians urged to 'show leadership' on climate change

The letter says:

"The UK government must take the opportunity created by yesterday’s report from the Committee on Climate Change to commit to eliminating our country’s contribution to global temperature rises.  

"The urgency and scale of action required necessitates a legally-binding target of net zero emissions by 2045.

"Such a target demands a cross-governmental approach and one which does not rely on offsets or outsourcing of carbon emissions to poorer nations – the very countries which are being hit hardest by climate change, despite having contributed least to the problem. 

"We readily recognise this means changing our lifestyles and behaviours.

"Indeed, we welcome the benefits that will follow, including cleaner air and warmer homes. Our country’s faith communities have already begun to embrace these changes, with thousands of places of worship powered by renewable energy and families committing to live simply and sustainably.  

"We now urge our country’s politicians to show leadership of the magnitude demanded by the challenge we face and encourage them to consider the extraordinary legacy they could leave."

Signatories

Christian

  • The Rt Revd John Arnold – Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford; lead bishop on environmental affairs for the Catholic Church in England and Wales
  • The Rt Revd Nick Holtam – Church of England Bishop of Salisbury; lead bishop on the environment
  • The Most Revd John Davies – Anglican Archbishop of Wales
  • The Most Revd Leo Cushley JCD – Roman Catholic Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh
  • The Rt Revd Joseph Toal – Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell
  • The Rt Revd Susan Brown – Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • Commissioner Anthony Cotterill – Leader of The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland
  • John Cross – Moderator of the United Free Church of Scotland
  • Paul Parker – Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain
  • Andrea Adwoa Bittle – Clerk to the General Meeting for Scotland, Quakers in Britain
  • Revd Michaela Youngson – President of the Conference of the Methodist Church
  • Bala Gnanapragasam – Vice President of the Conference of the Methodist Church

Jewish

  • Rabbi Larry Tabick – Emeritus Rabbi, Shir Hayim Synagogue; Lecturer, Leo Baeck College
  • Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick – Convenor of the Beit Din, The Movement for Reform Judaism
  • Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris – Principal, Leo Baeck College
  • Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg – Senior Rabbi, Masorti Judaism
  • Rabbi Aaron Goldstein – Chair, Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors; Senior Rabbi, Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue
  • Rabbi Dr Charles Middleburgh – Dean, Leo Baeck College
  • Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen – Associate Rabbi, Manchester Reform Synagogue
  • Rabbi Naomi Goldman – Kol Chai Synagogue, Hatch End Reform Jewish Community
  • Rabbi Monique Mayer – Bristol and West Progressive Synagogue
  • Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers – Community Educator, The Movement for Reform Judaism
  • Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky – Chair, Assembly of Reform Rabbis and Cantors UK; Rabbi, Menorah Synagogue
  • Rabbi Roderick Young – Member, Norwich Hebrew Congregation and Norwich Liberal Jewish Community
  • Rabbi Sandra Kviat – Crouch End Chavurah
  • Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts - Honorary Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, Durham University; Honorary Research Fellow, Leo Baeck College
  • Rabbi Natan Levy - Lecturer, Leo Baeck College Rabbinical Seminary
  • Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah - Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue
  • Cantor Zoë Jacobs – Finchley Reform Synagogue

Muslim

  • Harun Khan - Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
  • Fazlun Khalid – Founder/Director, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences
  • Qari Asim MBE – Chair, Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB)
  • Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra – Imam
  • Shaykh Sultan Niaz ul Hassan – Chairman, Bahu Trust
  • Hafiz Shauket Fazil – Principal, Birmingham Quran Academy 
  • Shabana Parveen – Green Team Leader, Bahu Trust
  • Abdullah Rehman MBE – Tell MAMA, West Midlands Coordinator 
  • Shenaz Sajan – Chair, Clifton Muslim Interfaith
  • Mahmooda Qureshi – Islamic Society of Britain 

Buddhist

  • Jamie Cresswell – Vice-President, European Buddhist Union; Director, Centre for Applied Buddhism; Vice-President – European Council of Religious Leaders
  • Dharmacharini Munisha – Member, Triratna Buddhist Order; member, the committee of the Network of Buddhist Organisations UK (signing personally)

Hindu

  • Bharti Tailor – Past President, Hindu Forum of Europe
  • Gopal Patel – Director, The Bhumi Project

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