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World News

'Churches and individuals can act to make a difference': says Christian environmental charity as UN report warns of 'irreversible changes'

by Kelly Valencia

Environmental Christian charity A Rocha is urging Christians to write to their MP requesting for immediate action on climate change after a United Nations report has warned the world is set to hit the global warming limit of one-point-five degrees Celsius in the next 20 years. 

"If you do that, maybe our voices will get heard," Andy Lester, head of conservation at A Rocha UK told Premier warning that unless immediate action is taken, "we're going to be facing an Extinction Level Event where human society as it stands at the moment, will be unable to survive." 

The UN report has revealed temperature rises will continue until mid-century - and without fast, deep reductions in greenhouse gases will, over the course of the 21st century, exceed both the 1.5C and 2C limits set by countries in the Paris climate treaty.

It also showed global warming is unequivocally being driven by humans, with the consequences of it being already seen in 2021 with extreme weather events such as wildfires, flooding and droughts.  

The UK has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050. 

Speaking to the Sky News, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the UK was "on track" to hit the target: "I think it's challenging, but I think we are on track, I think we're doing quite well." 

He also acknowledged that UK Government climate targets were "challenging" and that certain policies such as electric car rollout would not happen "overnight".

But for Andy Lester, the government is being hypocritical and needs to keep the pledges they agree to as it hosts the UN COP26 in Glasgow later this year. 

"How can we, as a nation be saying that we need to move away from fossil fuels? And at the same time, our UK Government is investing in gas and offshore oil platforms in the North Sea? the two are not compatible."

"And so the people of the country need to stand up, contact their MP and say you are a hypocritical government, the need to stick by the commitments that you have made…But otherwise, we'll be like the scripture says: 'a resounding Gong' or a 'clanging cymbal', because other nations will say, Well, that's all well and good, you saying all those things, but if you're not prepared to do them, why should we listen to you?

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres described the report as a "code red for humanity" while the head of the United Nations Environment Programme, Inger Andersen criticised global leaders for "not acting strongly enough". 

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