Dr Tony Thick, Environment Officer for the Diocese of Sodor and Man, on the launch of its We Care campaign to encourage along climate action.
Our UNESCO Biosphere status is a remarkable achievement and we are blessed to live on such a beautiful Island. So, as COP27 ends, it is a good time for reflection: it’s not just about plants and animals, how healthy is our Biosphere for humans?
In the words of Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the modern addiction to fossil fuels is not just an act of environmental vandalism, it is an act of self-sabotage’. Fossil fuel pollution causes 3.7 million deaths annually, worldwide.
So, as a retired doctor, I am glad to see that the Global Climate and Health Alliance has pioneered a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This new Treaty calls for non-proliferation, a fair phase out of fossil fuels and just transition. The Diocese of Sodor and Man has just signed the Treaty. People who live near fossil fuelled power plants and in traffic congested streets suffer the worst air pollution, but the WHO says an astounding 90% of people worldwide suffer the ill-effects of air pollution.
The good news is that having people of faith around is just what we need when there is a climate and biodiversity crisis. Caring for the environment and promoting biodiversity are fundamental aspects of Christianity.
All around the Island, churchyards are changing as maintenance routines are altered to promote biodiversity. Church communities are reviewing their energy use to try and avoid fossil fuels as they set out on the road to net zero carbon. The Church of England has determined to become net zero carbon by 2030 and the Diocese of Sodor and Man is up for this challenge.
Following the adoption of a new Environmental Policy by the Diocese, an Environment Action Group has been set up to support the Diocesan Environment Officer.
Our ‘We Care’ campaign is one of the first fruits of this group.
The campaign seeks to engage our Island community to endorse the vision of our Government’s Climate Action Plan but also to encourage more action more quickly. Let’s not forget that the Paris Agreement was to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 so that there would be a reasonable chance of keeping global warming down to 1.5C.
So we’d like people to colour in one of our postcards (go to the website and click on We Care for details). Then send the postcard to their MHKs to let them know what they are doing and how they feel about Government action on the climate emergency.
As we care for one another and the Biosphere in which we live, a note on a postcard to encourage our MHKs to more action more quickly seems worthwhile.