Bishop of Oxford appointed to new select committee on environment and climate change
The Lord Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, is among the 13 peers appointed to the Lords Select Committee for the environment and climate change. Bishop Steven is a leading advocate of fossil fuel divestment within the Church of England and has previously called for ‘nothing less than an ecological conversion of every person and every part of society’.
The new committee for environment and climate change is one of five new sessional committees designed to allow for more effective and comprehensive scrutiny by the House of Lords over major areas of public policy. Announcing the new committees in the House last week, the Senior Deputy Speaker noted that previous select committees “have demonstrated a depth of inquiry, a level of expertise and comprehensive scrutiny that has not been matched elsewhere.”
House of Lords committees investigate public policy, proposed laws and government activity. Reports produced by the select committees make recommendations to government and provoke discussion in Parliament.
Ruth Chambers, senior parliamentary affairs associate at the major coalition of green groups, Greener UK, welcomes the new environment and climate change committee; “Never has there been a better time for House of Lords scrutiny on the environment and this committee is very welcome.”
The committee for the environment and climate change will shortly meet for the first time. It’s a significant commitment for Bishop Steven, which is only possible now that his term of office with the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) has ended, but he is clear that the next few years are crucial for the planet:
“Human beings are far more than consumers: we are called to be just stewards of creation, to care for the poorest and the weakest. Human fulfilment lies not in escalating consumption but in meaningful rest and labour and learning to be content. Many dioceses, including Oxford, are placing care for the earth at the top of our agenda for the coming years… It means identifying challenging but achievable targets and the practical path to reach them. We need to hear the voice of government in policy detail and not just principle.”
Bishop Steven concludes: “The leadership we offer to the COP summit must be demonstrably grounded in the trinity of policy intervention, technology solutions and the changing lives of our entire population.”
- Discover more about the work of Lords select committees.
- For interview requests, please contact Steven Buckley on 07824 906839 or Sarah Bowie on 07880 716761.
- Bishop Steven is a member of the cross-party parliamentary group Peers for the Planet, and he writes regularly on the climate crisis and related issues.
- Bishop Steven became a board member of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) in November 2018 and completes his term in May 2021. The CDEI recently published its recommendations following its review into algorithmic bias.
- Bishop Steven announced the Diocese of Oxford has completed its divestment from fossil fuels in March 2021.
- The Diocese of Oxford declared a climate emergency in March 2020.