Trade Bill: Bishop of Blackburn supports amendments on sustainable development goals, environmental, health and food standards

On 8th October 2020 the House of Lords considered the Government’s Trade Bill in committee. The Bishop of Blackburn spoke in support of amendments that would:

  • require parliamentary approval of both negotiating objectives and of free trade agreements before the UK becomes a signatory to any agreements, to safeguard food, environmental, animal welfare and health standards.
  • ensure trade agreements cannot be implemented, signed or ratified unless they are consistent with the provisions of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Bishops’ speeches are below and the full text of the amendments beneath.

The Lord Bishop of Blackburn: My Lords, having made my maiden speech a week or so ago at Second Reading of the Bill, I am very grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Purvis, for proposing Amendment 35, to which I wish to speak, without, I have to say, the expertise of other contributors, but I shall speak in favour of the amendment on two counts, only simply, as I do not wish to repeat what has already has been said. Continue reading “Trade Bill: Bishop of Blackburn supports amendments on sustainable development goals, environmental, health and food standards”

Bishop of Peterborough highlights value of sustainable farming and energy projects overseas

19.04.01 Peterborough bOn 4th November 2019 Baroness Jenkin of Kennington moved a motion that the House take note of the Government’s “international development work to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and prevent biodiversity loss”. The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, contributed to the debate:

Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I too welcome this debate and the Prime Minister’s commitment to increased spending in this area. I also take note of, and agree with, the slight fear and concern of the noble Lord, Lord Bruce, that some of the money for this important work will be taken out of what ought to be spent on the relief of poverty and direct aid.

Three weeks ago I was in Israel, leading a pilgrimage looking at many of the sites mentioned in the Bible. One thing I came across that I had not seen there before but which was pointed out to me by various people was the fallow field—fields kept idle for a year to let the earth rest. I learned in geography lessons in my state county primary school around 1960 or 1961 that it was an important principle not only to rotate crops but to let the earth rest—in other words, not to squeeze everything out of it. I later discovered that this is part of the biblical teaching about the sabbath: not just that people and animals are to rest but that the earth also needs rest and recreation. That is why some farmers in Israel still practise that principle.

Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough highlights value of sustainable farming and energy projects overseas”

Bishop of Durham asks Government about renewable energy and development

On the 15th May 2018 Baroness Sheehan asked the Government “how much overseas development assistance was spent on fossil fuel subsidies in the most recent reporting period.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question about small-scale, off-grid energy systems.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, 1.06 billion people on the planet currently live without modern energy services. Renewable energy, particularly small-scale and off-grid energy systems, will play a key role in making sure that energy-poor communities have access to affordable and reliable electricity. DfID’s Energy Africa campaign is an excellent example of this. Will the Minister update the House on the progress of that campaign since its launch in 2015, and elaborate on the Government’s plans for spending on small-scale, off-grid energy systems? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about renewable energy and development”

Bishop of Southwark asks Government about local partnerships in delivering aid goals

On 26th April 2017 Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale asked Her Majesty’s Government “what action they plan to take to deliver the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, like the noble Lord, Lord Alton, I welcome the Prime Minister’s pledge to maintain the commitment of 0.7% of GDP for overseas aid. But I would be glad to know the Minister’s views on the usefulness of targeting aid in support of the goals not solely through large organisations but through more local partners such as those highlighted in the West Bank and Gaza by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Leeds on 21 March.

Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark asks Government about local partnerships in delivering aid goals”

Bishop of Sheffield praises vision of sustainable development goals and calls for more action on climate change

On 17th September 2015 Lord Chidgey moved “that this House takes note of the forthcoming summit on sustainable development goals in September and Her Majesty’s Government’s objectives at that summit.” The Bishop of Sheffield, Rt Revd Steven Croft, made a speech:

The Lord Bishop of Sheffield: My Lords, from these Benches I warmly welcome this debate and thank the noble Lord, Lord Chidgey, for bringing it forward. I welcome the sustainable development goals and the Government’s commitment to them.

14.03.27 Bishop of Sheffield

Like others, I was initially somewhat sceptical about a document that contains 17 goals and 169 targets. These are not even memorable or round numbers. However, I am inspired by the single vision for our world that drives and shapes these goals. That vision is set out in the ambitious declaration that forms a preface to the draft document to be considered and, we hope, agreed at the September summit. The language of the declaration is lofty—rightly so. It says:

“Never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavour across such a broad and universal policy agenda”. Continue reading “Bishop of Sheffield praises vision of sustainable development goals and calls for more action on climate change”

Sustainable Development Goals – Bishop of St Albans calls for a new moral vision

“I believe that the time is ripe for a new moral vision of the one world in which we all live, not just because it is morally right that we should do that but because, frankly, it is in our interests.” – Bishop of St Albans, 16/6/15

On Tuesday 16th June 2015 the Lords debated a motion by Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what are their priorities for the Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed by the United Nations in September.” The Bishop of St Albams, Rt Revd Alan Smith, spoke in the debate.

Bishop St Albans June 2015The Lord Bishop of St Albans: I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord McConnell, for securing for us this opportunity to debate this important area.

As we mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta this week, we are reminded that some ideas, initiatives or visions take a long time to come to fruition. Sometimes, all that one generation can do is to plant the acorn and it is for subsequent generations to appreciate the fully grown oak tree. Continue reading “Sustainable Development Goals – Bishop of St Albans calls for a new moral vision”