World should be 'deeply concerned' about effects of global warming

Environmental activists from Greenpeace demonstrate by holding images of world landmarks in the water during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, in this photo dated Wednesday December 8, 2010.AP

The Church of England has said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report should motivate the world to change its behaviour.

The report said that scientists were 95% certain that global warming since the 1950s was man-made.

Philip Fletcher, Chair of the Mission and Public Affairs Council of the Church of England, expressed concern about future prospects for the climate and the world.

He noted that the rising temperatures were going hand in hand with the "sharply increasing" concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

"The assessment represents the carefully considered consensus of expert scientific opinion on what is happening to our climate, and what it implies for the future. We should be deeply concerned about the effects," he said.

Mr Fletcher said Christians were called to be stewards of God's creation and that the task ahead was one of striving to safeguard the integrity of creation, coupled with sustaining and renewing the earth.

"The picture presented by the IPCC gives us fair warning that we need to change our behaviour and that we do not have long to consider and act on our collective response," he said.

The Church of England's own environmental campaign, 'Shrinking the Footprint', has set the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80% across the Church's buildings by 2050.

Mr Fletcher added: "Each of us individually and together should avoid waste and use energy efficiently. The practical steps needed internationally and nationally are complex and I hope that we shall all be praying for our leaders as they face up to this responsibility."