University of Winchester

News/Christian 'Climate Challenge Festival'

CHALLENGING CLIMATE CHANGE

Over 300 people crowded in to Exeter Cathedral last week to attend an innovative Climate Challenge Festival. ‘Hope Rising’ was organised by churches and Christian agencies to think about global warming in practical and challenging ways. During 19th January a variety of speakers called for urgent action at home, in local communities and Devon’s churches.

Ann Pettifor, Director of the national church campaign ‘Operation Noah’, spoke of the need for us all to press our politicians for a stronger lead and more consistent policies. “To develop a Climate Change Bill is really important, but it is essential that Britain’s capacity to act is not restricted by the policies of other countries, especially the USA. It is inconsistent to expect growing consumerism on the one hand and ask people to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions on the other”, she said.

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw provisionally agreed with the importance of a UK 80% target to Carbon Dioxide emissions, whilst Moises Gonzalez from Nicaragua spoke of how tropical storms are already devastating communities in Central America – even though his country’s contribution to global climate change is negligible.

Participants were invited to pledge to change their own lifestyles and to encourage others to do the same. Co-organiser Martyn Goss spoke of the need for people to walk the talk He suggested that, “as well as campaigning, we should all demonstrate that Climate Change is to be taken seriously by reducing our own demands for excessive energy through the ways we live, travel and work”.

The day concluded with the signing of a massive ‘Hope Rising’ banner which will now be taken around the County’s churches before being presented to the Government at Whitehall later in the year.

[Text taken from press release]

Further details:
Contact - Martyn Goss, Old Deanery, Exeter EX1 1HS. 01392-294924. martyn@exeter.anglican.org

Note to Editors:
Devon Christian Climate Change Coalition includes TEARfund, CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development), Christian Aid, Devon Churches Green Action, Churches Together in Devon, Devon Churches World Development Team, Diocese of Exeter, Diocese of Plymouth Justice & Peace Commission, Devon Global Centre and local denominational churches from Baptist, Methodist, Quaker and Reformed traditions.
The Diocese of Exeter (Church of England in Devon) is committed to reducing its own CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050 as part of the Church of England’s national campaign ‘Shrinking the Footprint’.

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