Dr Beth Heyde moved, The Reverend Peter Sandeman seconded,
That this Synod:
notes statements in the fifth assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that ‘Warming of the climate system is unequivocal’, ‘Human influence on the climate system is clear’, ‘Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions’, ‘Impacts from recent climate-related extremes reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems’, ‘A large fraction of both terrestrial and freshwater species faces increased extinction risk’, ‘Climate-related hazards exacerbate other stressors, often with negative outcomes for livelihoods, especially for people living in poverty’, and ‘Climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps’;
acknowledges with deep regret that it is future generations and other forms of life who will bear the real cost of our heavy dependence on carbon-based energy, if we lack the will to limit climate change;
calls on individual Anglicans and our Dioceses, as a theological and moral imperative, to review their commitment to protecting the Earth and be prepared to make significant changes in the ways we live and spend;
requests each Diocese to review the criteria for its investments, to give high priority to ecological sustainability and in particular explore removal of fossil fuel industries from Diocesan investment portfolios;
expresses grave concern to the Government that
a national target of 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (from the 2000 level) by 2020 is well short of the response needed to the data presented in the IPCC Report
serious doubt is being expressed by experts about the effectiveness of the policy settings proposed to meet even this low target
a market mechanism such as an emissions trading scheme is not part of its strategy to address climate change.
6. urges the Government to do much more to decrease Australia’s heavy fossil fuel dependence and encourage more intentional and extensive investment in renewable energy, and to support international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
3 July 2014