29th November 2016
On Monday 28th November Christian Climate Action held a prayer vigil outside the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) as part of their campaign for stronger action from the government to tackle dangerous climate change which is threatening the creation God has called us to care for.
On the first anniversary of the Paris Climate talks, the group wanted to highlight the fact that although the UK has ratified the Paris Agreement, government is taking action which is actually making climate change worse. In its first six months in power the current government scrapped or amended 13 policies designed to keep fossil fuels in the ground and, most tellingly, scrapped the Department for Energy and Climate Change and moved the remit for climate change to DBEIS, a department that doesn’t even mention it in its title.
Ruth Jarman explained why the vigil was held:
‘While the artic sees record high temperatures and DBEIS talks about how seriously it taking climate change, every policy changed made has increased emissions and means we keep burning fossil fuels. We were praying that this department would implement the huge changes that are required to protect our climate and show the global leadership that the world, and our children, so desperately need.’
Helen Whitall also took part:
‘It seems that although the government continues to “talk the talk” on climate change, it acts in reverse. It is as though government minsters thing they can tackle climate change simply by appeasing the “green movement”. But the truth is it is not the likes of us that need to be appeased, it is the climate itself, and creation won’t hear our words or notice our signed agreements. All it will notice is real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and so far we are heading in the wrong direction on that. Caution; melting ice ahead.’
Whilst the vigil was taking place, other group members dropped melting ice in the entrance to DBEIS’ building and whitewashed the outside of the building to a height of six foot to highlight the fact that current government policies are contributing to melting icecaps and consigning the department to be six foot under water.
Fr Martin Newell, who took part in this action was asked by police why he was vandalising the building. He replied: ‘This department is vandalising the planet and we are simply trying to stop them.’