Religion and law round-up – 21st June

 A high profile for climate change this week with a new Lambeth declaration, a mass lobby of Parliament and the Pope’s encyclical Laudato si’

Climate change

In terms of its discussion of possible approaches to the mitigation of climate change, the most important 200-page document of the week was perhaps the World Energy Outlook Special Report of the International Energy Agency, (IEA), Energy and Climate Change. This complements the Policy Paper What will global annual emissions of greenhouse gases be in 2030, and will they be consistent with avoiding global warming of more than 2°C?, issued on 4 May by Nicholas Stern and others for ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP).

Against this background, the publication of the Pope’s Encyclical Laudato si’ was a welcome intervention in highlighting the moral and ethical issues; as Lord Stern commented “Moral leadership on climate change from the Pope is particularly important because of the failure of many heads of state and government around the world to show political leadership”; along with most climate scientists, he acknowledged that Laudato si’ is “founded in the best science”. The urgency of the situation is stressed at several points within the document, which acknowledges that “the effects of climate change will be felt for a long time to come, even if stringent measures are taken now”, [170].  Continue reading