Board of Deputies plans climate change debate


Veteran green campaigner Jonathon Porritt and a Church of England bishop are to attend a Board of Deputies forum on climate change.

The event, organised by the Board’s social action group, will allow participants to “share perspectives” in the run up to the United Nations climate change conference at the end of the year.

Mr Porritt is a former chair of the Ecology Party, the forerunner of the Green Party, and co-founder of Forum for the Future lobby group, and commentator on sustainable development.

He will be joined at the forum by the Rt Reverend Nicholas Holtam, the bishop of Salisbury, who is the CoE’s representative on the international bishops’ panel countering climate change.

Also taking part is Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, director of Earth Charter UK and emeritus rabbi of Finchley Reform Synagogue, Rabbi Natan Levy, the Board’s interfaith adviser, and Maureen Kendler, a fellow at the London School of Jewish Studies.

The forum takes place on October 1.

Board vice president Sheila Gewolb, who heads the Board’s communities issues division, said: “We have a responsibility for our children to protect the environment. The Torah teaches us that we need to preserve the environment for future generations and, as a representative body, we need to be leading the way.”

According to Ms Gewolb, working with leading figures from other faiths way a key element when organising the forum.

“It was the Chief Rabbi who said we may not all share the same faith, but we all share the same Earth,” she said. “All faiths have the same idea of wanting to protect the environment. To work together on this is an amazing thing.”

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