Churches have started to react to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.
For the Church of Scotland Rev. Richard Frazer, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland said:
It is deeply regrettable that the President of the United States wants to walk away from the Paris climate agreement. The agreement that has now been signed by countries around the world is essential to limit the rise in global temperatures and we have to give it our support.
At a time when the world is increasingly feeling the impact of climate change, from the melting Artic ice cap, Pacific islanders on Tuvalu facing losing their homes, to the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, the need to respond to climate change has never be more pressing.
We know that many in America, including in churches, do not share President Trump’s views. We will work to support them and partner churches around the world by redoubling our commitment to respond to climate change in Scotland.
For the Church of England the Bishop of Salisbury has condemned President Trump’s decision.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said:
“I am, frankly, very disturbed by President Trump’s decision to revoke the United States’ commitment to the Paris Agreement, which was a global commitment made in good faith.
“Climate change is one of the great challenges of our times. There is a moral and spiritual dimension with a strong consensus built among the faith communities about the care of our common home. The scientific, economic and political arguments point in the same direction.
“How can President Trump look in the eye the people most affected, including the world’s poorest in the places most affected by climate change now, and those affected by increasingly frequent extreme weather in parts of the USA? The leader of what used to be called ‘the new world’ is trapped in old world thought and action.
For the Church in Wales Canon Carol Wardman, the Bishops’ Adviser for Church and Society condemned President Trump’s decision on the Paris Climate Deal:
“We are appalled by the decision of President Trump to withdraw the USA from the Paris climate change agreement. This is a shameful dereliction of duty towards God’s world and its most vulnerable people, for whom climate change – from flooding and rising sea-levels, to life-threatening levels of air pollution – is a real and present danger. Nonetheless, we are encouraged by the support amongst the community of nations for the Parish agreement, including the influential and rapidly-developing economies of China and India, as well as the UK; and we are heartened by the decision of many American states to retain their commitment to the Paris principles.
“The fact that one world leader can discard such an important commitment makes it all the more important that individuals and organisations consider hard what the environmental impacts of their activities are– whether that is in the use of transport, consumer choices, food, or investments. We can all contribute to the careful and responsible stewardship of the world that has been entrusted to us by God and which is not ours to destroy.”
The ACT Alliance, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches express deep dismay at this development, which goes against global commitments to address climate change. The three faith based bodies actively contributed the development of the Paris agreement, welcomed its outcomes and the commitments of the nations of the world to it.
“Only 18 months ago global leaders welcomed the landmark Paris Climate Agreement for taking into account the immediate needs of countries most severely affected by the impacts of climate change. The move by the President of the United States today flies in the face of ethics and Christian values,” says Rudelmar Bueno De Faria, ACT Alliance General Secretary.
“Addressing climate change equals protecting human beings, their workplaces and the economies of the world. The LWF will continue to promote climate justice, as an issue of intergenerational justice, in the conviction that creation is not for sale,” says Martin Junge, LWF General Secretary.
“This is a tragedy, missing an opportunity to show real, accountable leadership for the future of humanity and our common home. This is a decision that is not morally sustainable – and not economically sustainable either. The struggle for climate justice has to continue,” says Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC General Secretary.
More to follow…..