Justin Welby used his new year message on BBC One to address the issue, following a year in which the UK hosted the UN’s climate summit in Glasgow.
“When it comes to climate change, it is tempting to despair,” Welby said in quotes aired on BBC Radio 5.
“But there are real reasons to hope. People of every background are campaigning and working for justice.
“Important steps were taken at the Cop26 summit. World leaders recognise the problem.
Before the Cop26 climate summit, which ran from 31 October to 12 November, Welby joined Pope Francis and dozens of religious leaders in signing a joint appeal to governments to commit to ambitious targets.
In a speech given in Rome before the summit, Welby said over the past 100 years humanity had “declared war” on creation and must repent by not only building a green economy but by bringing justice to the global south.
“I have run out of time,” he said at the end of his speech. “The world has just enough time to get this right.”
Potentially the most significant development from Cop26 was China and the US, the world’s biggest emitters of CO2, pledging to act in a joint declaration made in a surprise announcement.