February 25, 2009

Bishops calls for ‘carbon fast’ during Lent


by David Masters

Two senior Church of England bishops have joined climate change minister, Ed Miliband, in urging people to reduce carbon emissions during Lent.

UK Christians should cut their personal carbon use for the forty days up to Easter rather than giving up chocolate, Miliband said yesterday.

“Scientists warn that climate change could hit all countries hard and fast, but by taking part in this carbon fast we can all reduce the size of our carbon footprints and make a difference,” said Miliband.

Miliband was joined by James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, and Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.

James Jones, vice president of international aid charity Tearfund, first thought up the idea of carbon fasting last year.

The effects of climate change hits poor communities hardest, and Jones believes that cutting back on carbon emissions is just as important as donating to charity.

Jones said: “God calls us to be stewards of the earth he created and to take care of the poor and vulnerable.

“With this in mind there is a moral imperative for those of us who emit more than our fair share of carbon, to rein in our consumption.

“The Carbon Fast is a fun and simple way to do this.”

He added that the aim of the Carbon Fast is to get people thinking about ways in which they can permanently reduce their carbon footprint.

Two thousand people signed up for last year’s Carbon Fast, organised by Tearfund.

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