Motion passed at Down and Dromore Synod 2015
“Human-induced climate change, mainly a result of burning fossil fuels, is occurring fast and will confront humanity with its greatest ever challenge. The earth is on a pathway to global warming well beyond the 2°C internationally agreed as the maximum possible if we are to avoid cataclysmic climate change”. (The Bright Now Report)
Scientists estimate that to avoid a 2°C temperature rise the maximum amount of carbon that can be produced by burning coal, oil and gas is one fifth of current reserves. This means that 4/5ths of existing fossil fuels must stay in the ground if we are too avoid catastrophic climate change.
Care for creation is part of our calling as Christians, as 1 Cor 10:26 says, "the earth is the Lord's". Climate change will hit poorer nations the hardest. Proverbs 31:9 says, "Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Churches can speak up with a prophetic voice by removing investments from fossil fuels. In the Church of Ireland the group with ability to do this is the Representative Body.
The motion proposed is as follows,
"The United Dioceses of Down and Dromore, urges Church of Ireland Representative Body to,
(a) increase investments in renewal energy and energy efficiency companies.
(b) ensure there are no investments in any coal companies (except those investing in carbon capture) and tar sand companies within the next year,
(c) examine the possibility of disinvestment from oil companies within three years from now,
(d) examine the possibility of disinvestment from natural gas companies but not before five years from now.
Furthermore, the United Dioceses of Down and Dromore supports the Environmental Charter passed at the Church of Ireland General Synod 2015, and calls on parishes and individual Christians,
(e) to take steps to encourage the government and political parties to act quickly on climate change. ”