As COP23, the International Climate Conference in Bonn, Germany draws to a close, the ACT Alliance and the Lutheran World Federation are launching a call to people of faith and faith-based organisations to take action on climate change. “Climate change and its impacts affect the full enjoyment of human rights and dignity,” the call reads. “Both from the perspective of our belief in God as the Creator and from the perspective of justice and human rights, Climate Change is a matter that must be urgently addressed by human beings in our age.“
The global policy processes, including COP, are not delivering the urgent, ambitious climate action that people and communities around the world require. We, as faith-based networks shall continue to do advocacy around climate justice, but will also continue to act on the ground in communities, helping to respond to humanitarian crises, to reduce risks, to adapt to climate change and to increase capacity building through our programmes.
We call for ambitious action to change the current models of development and economics, to protect the most vulnerable people, and to provide adequate financing and action to ensure that global temperature rise remains below 1.5°C.
It is not a call aimed only at high-level actors, but at all people of faith. ACT and LWF members at COP23 shared some of their reasons for engaging in climate action:
Bishop Ingeborg Midttømme, Norway—“God is the creator of heaven and earth and all human kind, Mother Earth is a gift to all of us, we can’t destroy the gift that is given to all of us just to focus on our own needs. The gift of God is given to us to that we can have what we need to live together in peace and harmony and it is very unfair that if you are born in one part of the world you will not have the opportunity to have food security or clean water or the most basic needs, and why should I shave it because I was born in Norway and I live there. We are all sisters and brothers and we belong to each other.”
Collins Shava, Zimbabwe— “It is important for the people of faith to take climate change as a moral challenge, as an issue of justice as it is causing harm to many who are poor and vulnerable. Recognizing that faith has an influence in the behavior of billions of people in the world, faith communities no matter what religion must use this unique space to call on the leaders of the world to focus and urgently address the issues of climate change.”
Frances Namoumou, Fiji—“This is our prophetic role, to raise the voices of communities that are suffering. We have a moral responsibility to act as a moral radar for our governments, our communities, even ourselves. We have to walk the talk, hold hands with those in the front-line of Climate Change impact and to join together in solidarity on climate justice action.”
Please join your voice with ours in calling for ambitious action on climate change. Read the full call to action here. Contact Joanna Patouris, ACT’s Climate Change Communications Coordinator, to add your name to those who endorse the call. Together, we can work to ensure that global temperature rise remains below 1.5°C., so that the earth will continue to be a nurturing home for all God’s people.
It is time to act. Act now for climate justice.