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Uniting Church urges green agenda

The Uniting Church has continued its involvement in the climate change and emissions trading debates with a submission to the Australian Government’s consultation process on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper.

The Green Paper discusses the Government’s preferred position on a range of issues relating to a national emissions trading scheme, known as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

The Church’s submission argued that the protection of the environment for its own sake and for the sake of our children and future generations should take precedence over maintaining and growing the already large profits of big industry.

UnitingJustice National Director, Rev. Elenie Poulos said it also placed greater priority on the development and use of renewable energy sources than on cleaning up existing carbon polluting energy industries.

“We must begin to transform our economy from one based on fossil fuels to a ‘green’ economy that reflects respect for the limited resources of the planet and the need for justice and equity among all people,” Ms Poulos said. .

The submission encouraged the government to engage in long-term planning to encourage the production and purchase of more fuel efficient cars, and to improve public transport services and support for the development of alternative fuels

The submission pointed to Australia’s obligation to assist our Pacific Island neighbours to adapt to the effects of climate change already impacting Pacific communities.

It also stressed that as a priority we must ensure that low-income households and people affected by poverty doe not suffer further as a result of the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

“Low-income households produce fewer emissions than middle and higher-income
households as they, on the whole, use less energy,” the submission claimed.

At it’s November meeting the Assembly Standing Committee encourage Uniting Church members, congregations, groups, agencies and councils to model ways of living and working that minimise the production of greenhouse gas emissions, and to seriously and regularly include matters of environment and lifestyle change in prayer and worship, study, and communal decision making.

The Uniting Church submission is available on the UnitingJustice website www.unitingjustice.org.au.