Order paper 5 lists the day’s business.
In the morning Synod debated climate change and passed this motion:
That this Synod, believing that God’s creation is holy, that we are called to protect the earth now and for the future, and that climate change disproportionately affects the world’s poorest, and welcoming the convergence of ecumenical partners and faith communities in demanding that the nations of the world urgently seek to limit the global rise in average temperatures to a maximum of 2 ̊C, as agreed by the United Nations in Cancun:
(a) urge all governments at the COP 21 meeting in Paris to agree long term pathways to a low carbon future, supported by meaningful short to medium term national emissions pledges from all major carbon emitting nations;
(b) endorse the World Bank’s call for the ending of fossil fuel subsidies and the redirection of those resources into renewable energy options
(c) encourage the redirection of resources into other lower carbon energy options;
(d) request the Environment Working Group to develop Shrinking the Footprint to enable the whole Church to address the issue of climate change, and to develop and promote new ‘ecotheological resources’, as proposed by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network in February 2015;
(e) request the Ministry Division to hear the call of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network bishops for programmes of ministerial formation and in-servicetraining to include components on eco-justice and ecotheology; and
(f) encourage parishes and dioceses to draw attention to the initiative supported by members of the Faith and Climate network encouraging Christians to pray and fast for climate justice on the first day of each month.
The Bishop of Salisbury opened the debate with this speech.
The Archbishop of Canterbury made this contribution to the debate.
Bishop of Sheffield’s speech
There is also this official press release: Urgent action needed on climate change urges Synod.
In the afternoon, Synod debated climate change and investment policy and passed this motion:
That this Synod, accepting that the threat posed by climate change to the environment and human wellbeing requires urgent action to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, and recognising that achieving this effectively without creating damaging and unintended economic consequences requires political subtlety, flexibility and a focus on achievable change:
(a) affirm the policy on climate change and fossil fuel investment developed following the Southwark DSM passed by the Synod in February 2014, recommended by the EIAG, and adopted by the National Investing Bodies (‘the NIBs’);
(b) welcome the disinvestment by the NIBs from companies focused on the extraction of oil sands and thermal coal;
(c) urge the NIBs to engage robustly with companies and policy makers on the need to act to support the transition to a low carbon economy and, where necessary, to use the threat of disinvestment from companies as a key lever for change;
(d) urge the NIBs to encourage the work of those energy companies committed to carbon pricing and investing in research into cleaner fuels, natural gas and carbon capture and storage;
(e) urge the NIBs proactively to seek and scale up investment in renewable energy and other low carbon energy sectors and to track low carbon indices;
(f) request the EIAG and the NIBs to publish their ‘engagement framework’ by June 2016; and
(g) request the EIAG and the NIBs to report to the Synod within three years with an assessment of the impact of the policy adopted, including the efficacy of engagement and the progress made on portfolio decarbonisation.
Press reports and comments
Madeleine Davies, Gavin Drake and Tim Wyatt Church Times Synod urges investors to act on climate change
Andrew Brown The Guardian Church of England governing body approves divestment policy
David Pocklington Law & Religion UK General Synod: Carbon capture, fracking and fasting