Norwich bishop leads the way on climate change
Bishop Graham Usher is among faith leaders who have signed a statement in the lead-up to COP26 calling on governments to take urgent action to protect the earth’s climate.
Archbishop Justin Welby has appointed Graham Usher as lead Bishop on the Environment for the Church of England. His tasks include working on the commitment to net-zero carbon impacts across the Church of England by 2030.
Bishop Usher signed the statement alongside leaders of every major Christian denomination and representatives from Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities.
The declaration states:
“We remind governments of their commitments made in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming, and to protect the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. We call upon them to take the urgent action needed to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change.
“Across our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change our ways to ensure a quality of life which all can share. We need to provide hope for people of all ages, everywhere, including future generations.
“To offer hope in the world we need to have confidence that those in power understand the vital role they have to play at the Glasgow COP26.”
Bishop Graham added: “As a world community we need to come together and keep the rise in global temperature to below 1.5 degrees. We are drawing on the wells of wisdom within our traditions to encourage the leaders of the world to take the bold, prophetic, steps we all need.”
You can read the full declaration here.
Bishop Graham’s first degree was in ecological science from Edinburgh University. Every candidate that he confirms receives a hazel tree to plant as a nod to Mother Julian of Norwich, the 14th-century mystic, who reflected on the glory of God as she held a hazelnut in the palm of her hand.
Image of Bishop Graham Usher from Diocese of Norwich