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This page was written in spring 2002 and Action is no longer required. The page is left for archival purposes

Early Day Motion (EDM) on Contraction and Convergence


Christian Ecology Link's Energy Campaign Team would like to encourage your support for an Early Day Motion (EDM) on Contraction and Convergence, the most ethical and workable solution to climate change, and the Earth Summit.

We would like to encourage you to pray for it's adoption as a bill and to write to your MP and ask him/her to sign it. To help you in this please see the EDM copied below and the notes, including some biblical basis should you want to add this dimension to your letter.

If you go to you will be able to see whether your MP has already signed it. As of MArch 2002 95 MPs have signed.

What to ask your MP:
To sign EDM 325.
If s/he will not, to explain why, and what alternative s/he proposes that might address climate change in an ethical and effective way.

Many leaders have talked about the benefits of Contraction and Convergence, but governments have yet to sign up to it. This EDM provides an excellent opportunity for your MP to push the world's governments towards a solution to the biggest environmental threat faced by God's creation.

To find out more on Contraction and Convergence go to and to subscribe to the bulletin board list to help promote it write to

Thank you!

Ruth Jarman

EDM 325

That this House


    the Government's commitment to resolve asymmetric conflicts such as global terrorism and climate change through the process of international coalition building;
further welcomes
    the launch of the Energy Review and the Government's commitment to respond to the 22nd Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 'Energy-the Changing Climate';
notes that
    terrorism is more likely to flourish in conditions of social injustice and environmental degradation;
further notes
    the significant disparities in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions between developed and developing countries;
further welcomes Recommendation 3 of the RCEP's 22nd Report that
    'The Government should press for a further global climate agreement based on the Contraction and Convergence approach, combined with the international trading in emission permits;
is seriously concerned
    at the vulnerability to terrorist attack of Britain's nuclear power stations and facilities and the related transportation of radioactive materials;
is encouraged
    by the rapid development of renewable energy technologies which offer the prospect of security and self sufficiency in energy supply to developed and developing countries;
and, therefore, calls on the Prime Minister
    to demonstrate further global leadership at next year's World Conference on Substainable Development by arguing the case for a policy of contraction and convergence of greenhouse gas emissions as the only realistic means of managing the transition from a carbon economy in a way that allows for equitable access to safe, renewable, low-intensity, self-sufficient and decentralised forms of energy supply.


Notes to help you write to your MP

Climate Change - Why inaction is not an option:
  • Climate change is one of, if not the, most crucial environmental issue facing humanity today.

  • It is already beginning to have major impacts on the world's climate, economy and agriculture and is expected to drive huge numbers of species to extinction.

  • Some experts also fear that as we brutally disrupt the delicate balance of God's creation an irreversible "run-away" and catastrophic climate change could occur. Never has there been a more urgent moment to invoke the "precautionary principle".

  • The primary cause of climate change is the huge and continuing increase in fossil fuel consumption in the developed world whereas it is the weak and the poor who will suffer most - we have a moral responsibility to act.

  • Of course to bring about such radical changes will involve huge costs but indications are that the cost of adapting will be far less than the cost of the damage if no action is taken. The short and medium term cost in human suffering and the mass extinction of so many of God's creatures of failing to take action is incalculable. The long term consequences hardly bear contemplating.
Why current agreements are not enough:
  • The response to this threat from governments and individuals is by and large wholly inadequate. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution stated that the concentration of carbon dioxide should not be allowed to increase to more than double its pre-industrial level. This would necessitate an overall global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of the order of 60%. However, the only international agreement on climate change, Kyoto, will lead to a cut in developed countries emissions of less than 5%.
What Scripture says to us about this Challenge:

  • The Bible understandably does not deal directly with the issue of global climate change; such a concept was outside the experience of the authors of the Bible. But what it does set out with remarkable clarity and force is our duty of respecting and caring for creation and that by our sin of hubris (i.e. arrogant pride in our own abilities to understand and control the world) we risk bringing catastrophic consequences on ourselves and the world.

  • One of the many examples of Old Testament teaching is in Deuteronomy 11.13-17. In essence this points out that if we love and serve God and respect his creation (or as we would now say "live sustainably") he will bless us with "early and late rain" so that the harvest will be good. But if we turn aside and worship other gods (that is unsustainable and inequitable consumption) the land will "yield not her fruit".

  • The Psalms too echo this message (65,95,104 etc.) The climate is God's gift to us and the whole earth community allowing all life in its rich and wonderful diversity to flourish. To put this amazing richness and elegant balance at risk through our arrogant and thoughtless rejection of the gift by altering something as fundamental as our global climate may rightly be termed blasphemous.

  • Jesus' teaching developed this theme of love for all creation. Through his bodily resurrection he transformed our relationship with the earth community; he calls on us to show in our time that same love and respect.

  • Throughout the Bible, and specifically in Micah 6:8, God calls us to act justly and to love mercy. Contraction and Convergence provides a just framework for mankind to begin to tread mercifully on the earth once more.
Contraction and Convergence:
  • Contraction and Convergence provides a framework within which the world's emissions can be reduced safely and fairly. It proposes that countries agree a safe global greenhouse gas emissions budget and agree a date by which all countries will have the same emissions rights per capita. Countries unable to reduce their emissions by this date would be able to buy the unused rights of other countries, giving less developed countries the income to fund development in zero-emission ways.

  • The idea is well accepted as the best way forward by the experts. According to the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution "The government should press for a future global climate agreement based on the Contraction and Convergence approach, combined with international trading in emission permits. Together, these offer the best long-term prospect of securing equity, economy and international consensus." The recent Third Assessment Report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) observes "...the formulation that carries the rights-based approach to its logical conclusion is that of Contraction and Convergence."

  • For more details go to

Once again, What to ask your MP:
To sign EDM 325.
If s/he will not, to explain why, and what alternative s/he proposes that might address climate change in an ethical and effective way.

Two World Council of Churches papers:
justice, peace, creation Draft statement for Conference of Parties 6 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change The Hague, November 2000 A SUMMARY*
Solidarity with victims of climate change (Jan 2002)
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