An impressive coalition of support for action upon climate change is represented here today. But the opinion polls all deliver the same message. Public interest in environmental issues has declined from the level it reached at the time of the passage of the Climate Change Bill. Politicians who see the challenge which faces us all; who are well informed about the action that needs to be taken; cannot get too far ahead of public opinion. Both Mr Cameron and Mr Milliband have demonstrated an awareness of the scale of the adaptation which will be needed as a consequence of climate change but this aspect of public policy played very little part in the recent election campaigns across the UK.
Bishops do not have to stand for election and the Church works on different timescales. The Jubilee 2000 and the Make Poverty History campaigns demonstrated the capacity of the Christian community supported by a coalition of people of goodwill to have an impact on public attitudes. Our determination is to stimulate debate and to open up room for manoeuvre so that sympathetic politicians can advocate the changes which they know to be necessary.