Over two years since the United Nations climate change agreement made in Paris, 176 states have ratified the agreement that aims to keep global average temperature rises below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels (although the USA has said it will withdraw).
While the most recent UN climate summit in Bonn, during April 2018, made progress on the rules which will guide how the Paris Agreement is implemented, the big remaining issue to be resolved is climate finance, commented Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead:
‘What has become clear has been the need from poorer countries for much stronger signals that the funding they have been promised to implement their emissions reductions plans will be delivered.
‘The radio silence on money has sown fears among poor countries that their wealthier counterparts are not serious about honouring their promises. This funding is not just a bargaining chip, it is essential for delivering the national plans that make up the Paris Agreement’.
As Christians, we have responsibilities both to care for the poor and to care for the planet. So we need to be aware of the issues and know what we can do both as individuals and as churches.
'Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them;' Psalm 146 Click To Tweet
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign for ever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 146 (NRSV)
It’s very easy to take energy for granted. Without thinking about it we’ll plug something in, flick a switch, turn on the gas or start the car and expect something to happen. Only on the rare occasions that something goes wrong do we realise just how dependent we are.
But we need to be more thoughtful, both because of the effects that much of our energy use has on the wider world, and because many in the world are not so fortunate.
As Christians, we have an additional insight. All this energy originates ultimately in God’s creation of sun, moon and Earth. And he gives us vastly more, in solar radiation hitting the earth, than we can currently use.
Use Psalm 146 to help you reflect on this:
- God creates everything and provides for us? Can we expect as much energy as we like? Why or why not?
- Do we have a role in providing the poor with energy, and if so what?
- Given that God is the ultimate source of energy, what does that say about how we use it?
This reflection comes from our Creation Time resources from 2012, Sustainable energy in creation – Time for prayer and action.