Friday, February 23, 2007

Bishop Gives Up Flying to Reduce Emissions

Anglican Bishop Richard Chartres of London has pledged to refrain from air travel for a year, as a sign of his commitment to the environment. "Travel takes rather longer," Chartres told Ecumenical News International.

Chartres signed a pledge to refrain from all air travel for 12 months during a Stop Climate Change demonstration in London in October. "I shall not flinch," Chartres insisted, although he acknowledged the effects of his decision were, at times, "very inconvenient". Still, "One useful result is slowing down a bit," he noted. "I think it also focuses the mind on going to things that are really valuable."

In 2006, Chartres was criticised by Michael O'Leary, chief executive of low-cost airline Ryanair, after the bishop was reported saying it was sinful to pollute the planet by catching a plane for a holiday. But, the 59-year-old cleric said in Wittenberg: "I'm not preaching to other people. If one is saying 'cut the carbon' … one has to be very alert to one's own footprint. This is a new way of being faithful, of walking lightly on the earth."

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