COP26: Archbishop of Canterbury calls on global leaders to adopt Trainspotting mantra ‘choose life’ for Scottish climate summit

The Archbishop of Canterbury is calling for global leaders to “choose life” as the UK prepares for November’s Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Justin Welby’s words echo Trainspotting's iconic “Choose Life” monologue where Mark Renton rants against consumerism and capitalism.

But Mr Welby wasn’t quoting the main protagonist of Irvine Welsh’s beloved novel-turned-film – he lifted the phrase from the bible.

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On Tuesday the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion issued a joint statement about the urgency of the climate crisis.

Bringing Trainspotting to mind, the Archbishop of Canterbury is calling for global leaders to “choose life” as the UK prepares for the upcoming Cop26 conference.

Talking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “The key phrase in this is a phrase taken from near the beginning of the Bible, the Book of Deuteronomy: choose life.

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“This is a choice between choosing life or choosing death.

“Most people in the world are behind them on this. This is not something that goes against public opinion.”

The archbishop said that he had adjusted his own habits to live more sustainably, including cutting back on travel, no longer having a diesel car and eating less meat.

He added: “The Church of England in its parishes and right across the land has committed to being net zero on carbon by 2030. Every parish is working on this.”

However Mr Welby explained that the goal of the church is not pure divestment from fossil fuel companies.

He said: “In terms of our investment, we believe in engagement and not just divestment.

“Christians believe in conversion. We want to see companies change their behaviour. We’ve divested of coal because there’s no clean way forward.”

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