On 1st October 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Bill in Committee. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in support of amendments to the Bill to ensure that future trade agreements are fully compliant with international environmental obligations, and meet standards on animal welfare and food safety.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: I plan to speak mainly on Amendment 12, but I also support Amendment 40 and, particularly, Amendment 69 in this group [texts below]. Leaving the European Union should not mean leaving our international obligations. Recognition of those conventions mentioned under Amendment 12 is, one would imagine, already accounted for in the existing trade agreements due to be transposed into UK law as a result of this Bill. However, without this amendment, these remain an expectation not an assurance.
Continue reading “Trade Bill: Bishop of St Albans supports amendments to ensure trade deals meet standards on climate, environment, food and animal welfare”
On 20th July the Rt Revd Nick Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, received a written answer to a question on the green homes grant.
Lord Bishop of Salisbury: HL6798 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the green homes grant on 8 July (HC Deb, col 976), whether (1) clergy housing, and (2) buildings open to the public and run by charities, such as churches, are eligible for that grant.
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On 25th June 20202 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered questions from MPs in the House of Commons, on: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative. A transcript is below:
Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: church building reopening, weddings, housing, public worship, music, online services, family life, church finances and the Transition Pathway Initiative”
On 17th June 20202 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, received a written answer to a question on greenhouse gas reduction targets:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: HL5327 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that financial support to fossil fuel-intensive and high carbon producing industries is in line with (1) their Paris Agreement obligations, (2) their target for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; and (3) their commitment to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2035. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about emissions reduction targets”
On 18th March 2020 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, answered seven written questions from Jim Shannon MP, on carbon reduction, cashless donations, South Sudan, Uganda, lead theft and graveyard records:
Jim Shannon (Strangford): 29873 To ask the right hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England is taking to use its investments to support business transitioning to a low carbon economy.
Andrew Selous: As responsible investors and members of the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, the Church Commissioners regard climate change as a vital issue and have pledged to transition their investment to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions portfolio by 2050. They will set their first interim emissions reduction target as members of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance in 2020 and will work with their public equities managers to achieve it. Continue reading “Church Commissioners’ written answers: carbon reduction, cashless donations, South Sudan, Uganda, lead theft, graveyard records”
On 17th March 2020 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, received a written answer to a question on climate change and migration:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: HL1792 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of any link between climate change and migration. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks about link between climate change and migration”
On 12th March 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Parminter, “To move that this House takes note of the case for investing in, and embracing, a green economy that promotes resource efficiency and zero carbon usage.” The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Viv Faull, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for bringing this debate before the House. As has been said already, and will no doubt be said again, our climate is at a crisis point. As your Lordships are well aware, we continue to see significant losses of biodiversity, increases in global temperatures, rising sea levels and extreme weather events. In the knowledge that these circumstances will disproportionately affect the poorest, and as a nation that has historically consumed large amounts of carbon, it is our moral imperative to act now.
I find myself in the privileged position of representing both a Church and a city to which this issue matters a great deal. Only two weeks ago, Bristol welcomed Greta Thunberg to its College Green, where she addressed more than 15,000 young people. She said that
“nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from our elected officials.”
It is my hope that our work here today and in the future will amount to much more than just beautiful words.
Continue reading “Bishop of Bristol speaks of climate commitments, Government praises “strong leadership” of church”
On 13th February 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Kinnoull, “that this House takes note of the threats posed by pests and diseases to native trees in the United Kingdom.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I too thank the noble Earl, Lord Kinnoull, for obtaining the debate and the noble and learned Lord, Lord Cope of Craighead, for his excellent introduction. For these Benches, and indeed for many Members of your Lordships’ House, trees have a special significance. They feature in the first chapter of the holy scriptures in Genesis and they reappear in the final chapter of the Bible in the Book of Revelation chapter 22, where we find that enigmatic phrase:
“the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans on the importance of planting more trees and native species”
On 6th February 2020 the House of Lords debated a motion from Lord Browne of Ladyton, “That this House takes note, further to the report by UK FIRES, Absolute Zero, published in November 2019, of technological and lifestyle efforts (1) to address climate change, and (2) to meet the 2050 net zero carbon emissions target”. The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I warmly welcome this report and this vital debate. Never before in the scale of human history has there been such a wide and deep threat to our ecosystem or to human flourishing that was so clear and predictable on the horizon. Technology alone is not enough.
In his letter to the whole world in 2015, Pope Francis notes how
“the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor”.
Our response must be nothing less, he argues, than an “ecological conversion” of every person and every part of society. Responding to the current emergency is the responsibility of every family, workplace, village, town and city, company and public institution.
Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford on climate emergency and work of church”