Climate Change Effects

The United Nations “Global Climate 2001 to 2010” report released in July 2013 says the 21st century’s first decade was the hottest on record, with weather extremes claiming more than 370,000 lives.

It is recognised that the effects of climate change will be disproportionally felt by the poor and vulnerable of the world.

Interactive map showing countries and climate changeThis interactive map presents in graphical form, a world overview showing which countries are producing the carbon emissions and which are the most vulnerable to climate change.

Closer to home, the recent pledge to divest from fossil fuel investments by the Anglican province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, “drew impassioned support from Tikanga Pasefika speakers, most notably Bishop Api Qiliho, who said, “the survival of Pacific Island people was at stake”. (Anglican Taonga).

Oceans of Justice is an Anglican Alliance campaign to petition on behalf of pacific nations already suffering the effects of climate change.

Caritas, the Catholic Bishop’s agency for Justice, Peace and Development has prepared a Pacific environment report (released 4th October 2014) sharing more voices from the Pacific.

New Technologies and the Green Economy

Leading New Zealand business jounrnalist, Rod Oram, recently stated that, “we can have a better economy and a better climate, thanks to dramatic shifts in the world economy that began some five years ago” (Sunday Star Times article, “Missing the big picture”). He was referring to a report by the Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate. The report says that conventional economic analysis fails to capture the benefits flowing from improvements in innovation, technology, energy and resource efficiency and quality of life. Rod comments that,

“it is already cheaper to build and run high quality, compact urban environments… than it is to build and run sprawling, inefficient cities dependent on fossil fuels”.

Many organisations are working to promote sustainability in New Zealand among whom are, the Sustainable Business Network and the New Zealand Green Building Council. See the SBN website resources section for more information. The Links section of this website lists more organisations involved in sustainability.

Care of Creation Bulletin photoThe Anglican Diocese of Auckland’s Rev’d Jim Hunt, supported by the Rev’d Vivienne Hill and Dr Nicola Hoggard Creegan, publishes a regular Care of Creation bulletin in which he highlights new developments occurring around the world. You can read past bulletins or go the Education section of this website for more.


Climate Science

There is compelling scientific evidence that recent changes in the global climate are due to human activity and that catastrophic consequences will ensue if atmospheric carbon levels continue to rise. The burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are the main causes of this. CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are often used as an indicator because they have been tracking with the mean average temperature of the earth for thousands of years, as demonstrated by climate paleontologists, and recent levels are unprecedented in human history as shown in this Carbon Tracker video published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA. More infographics and videos for explaining the processes of global warming can be found at The Hadley Centre (UK Met Office) and The Environmental Protection Agency (USA).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) present the current state of knowledge on Climate change and its potential impacts. You can watch the video above or go to the website for the Physical Science Basis part of the latest IPCC report (IR5). The Synthesis Report is a summary of all the current findings, written for governments and policymakers. It is the final part of the IR5 assessment process and is due to be adopted and released on 31st October 2014. See the FAQ section for more about how the IPCC work.