February 1, 2013
Operation Noah press release
On Ash Wednesday, Operation Noah will call on the Government to change the direction of its Energy Bill, currently going through parliament. On this day, when Christians traditionally repent of their sins, the group believes the Government should show true repentance – metanoia – involving a change of mind and purpose in its energy policy.
It is one year since Operation Noah published the Ash Wednesday Declaration – Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church. One practical outworking of this declaration is the call for a decarbonised economy in the UK by 2030. In the last year, the Government has issued an Energy Bill that fails to set adequate targets for reduction in carbon emissions and gives a green light for the building of more gas-fired power stations, locking us in to fossil fuels several decades into the future. However, it is clear that urgent action is needed to completely turn the world’s energy infrastructure around from fossil fuels to renewables. Reports from organisations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the World Bank and the International Energy Agency have issued urgent calls for action to reduce carbon emissions yet the UK Government is not heeding the warnings.
Isabel Carter, Chair of Operation Noah comments: ‘The UK Government, like many others, assumes that short-term economic policy takes priority over the laws of nature and the laws of physics! Our fragile earth has alarm bells ringing all around. How much longer will we continue to ignore them?’
Operation Noah calls again for the Churches to make care for God’s creation a primary factor in the Church’s mission, and to join them in calling for the Government to take a lead in working for a sustainable world.
 Low carbon economy index 2012: Too late for two degrees? www.pwc.co.uk/sustainability-climate-change/publications/low-carbon-economy-index.jhtml
 Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided (World Bank, 2012).
 The International Energy Agency’s chief economist Fatih Birol (2012) on publication of the World Energy Outlook 2012: ‘When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius which would have devastating consequences for the planet.’
Notes for editors
Operation Noah is an ecumenical Christian charity providing leadership, focus and inspiration in response to the growing threat of catastrophic climate change. www.operationnoah.org
The Ash Wednesday Declaration – Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church can be found at www.operationnoah.org/ash-wednesday-declaration It was launched on 22nd February 2012 and challenges the church to realise that care for God’s creation – and concern about climate change - is foundational to the Christian gospel and central to the church’s mission. It was signed by many prominent church leaders.
The Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed Churches, Quakers and Church of England have issued a briefing about the Energy Bill asking for key amendments. See www.operationnoah.org/take_action_energy_bill