Over the past days we’ve seen the majority of countries sitting down to COP23 – the latest talks on climate change. They come against a background of rising sea levels, a hurricane season of almost unimaginable ferocity and rapidly declining wildlife worldwide.
You’ll have noticed little substantive news from the talks. While there’s broad agreement on the need to reach the climate change target of under 2C, all the models indicate that without a radical global policy shift not only are we likely to miss the Paris targets – but also may be on track for a global rise in our lifetime of 3C or more.
A Rocha UK and other organisations have met with climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe. ‘Change is happening now,’ she said. ‘Climate change isn’t something we’re expecting in 20, 30 or 40 years time. It is upon us. We’ve reached the bend in the road and action cannot be delayed.’
That echoes what we’re seeing around the UK this autumn. Lawns are still growing, several bird species have started nesting, and some haven’t bothered to migrate at all. Flowers that should’ve given up are still going strong. On our beaches, the unusually warm water has produced sightings of Mediterranean species such as Portuguese Man-of-War in record numbers.
It’s time for prayer and action. Pray that the international community can work hard together to set up policies globally that can slow, then stop additional greenhouse gas emissions. Act by doing all you can locally – through your church, community, school and at home to bring about change.
We’re at a Wilberforce moment. Each of us will need to account for our actions over the next few years. Scientists are agreed change is happening now, and we still have time to act decisively. Push Government hard for a lower carbon future. (Photo of Portugese Man-of-War by Janice Price)