[Story from Church of England] The Bishop of Salisbury, Nicholas Holtam, recently spoke as the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May set out plans potentially banning a number of single-use plastic products. Earlier in the week Claire Perry, the minister for clean growth, also outlined hopes for the UK to be the first major developed economy to reach the tighter ambition of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C in the Paris Agreement.
Bishop Nicholas welcomed the ambitions of the UK Government, calling climate change one of the great moral challenges of today. He went on to encourage the UK to swap the use of cheap plastic with more sustainable alternatives, calling it a “no-brainer.”
In his address the bishop emphasised the importance of the message of eliminating plastic waste sends internationally, especially given the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this week.
“We must hope and pray that British leadership on this issue therefore galvanises other countries in the Commonwealth and elsewhere to follow suit.”
Bishop Nicholas also mentioned that climate change wasn’t simply an ecological issue, but a question of justice. “As I meet fellow Anglican bishops, especially from Africa and the Pacific, it is clear that their countries are suffering now because of climate and reducing our emissions is the biggest single step we can take to ensuring a more fairly run world.
“The significance of Britain tightening climate targets to reflect the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C goal is that the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world are those most exposed to climatic changes.”