Act Now for Climate Justice campaign
As part of churches’ on-going struggles for climate justice, the campaign Act Now for Climate Justice was launched at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland on 22 April – Earth Day.
initiated by the ACT Alliance runs in collaboration with several ecumenical partners, including the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation.
The campaign involves churches, religious organizations and civil society around the world in raising awareness on climate change effects, especially in their effects on the most poor and vulnerable people. The initiative calls on world leaders to cut carbon emissions drastically, and to help the world’s poorest to cope with the impacts of climate change while engaging in development in a sustainable way.
Act Now for Climate Justice has also been launched in many different places, including the ACT General Assembly in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in October last year.
The campaign launch in Geneva used the significance of the Earth Day celebration to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide.
The campaign is particularly significant given the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris this year, where governments will strive to agree on a comprehensive climate agreement.
The ecumenical organizations involved with this campaign have been working tirelessly together in advocacy and campaigning, as well as in prayer and solidarity, to support the millions affected by the impacts of climate change.
Rev. Dr Ioan Sauca, WCC associate general secretary and director of the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland shared theological reflections at the launch. “Humans are partners and co-workers with God and should act responsibly towards creation,” he said.
“From a theological perspective the message of Earth Day is to recognize how God is the creator of a good and beautiful creation. God creates human beings so that they can ‘till and care’ for the garden of creation according to the biblical story in Genesis 2,” Sauca added.
“Earth Day is an appropriate time to re-launch the Act Now for Climate Justice campaign in the Ecumenical Centre,” said Dr Guillermo Kerber, WCC programme executive for Care for Creation and Climate Justice.
He went on to say that “caring for the earth and striving for climate justice have been at the core of the work of the WCC, the ACT Alliance and other ecumenical organizations. Various pilgrimages to COP21 in Paris are being organized by the churches and faith communities to join in prayer and action for an effective response to the climate crisis,” he added.
At the launch, several activities raising awareness about climate change were held, including a special prayer service, exhibition and signing of the Act Now for Climate Justice Petition. A symbolic march around the Ecumenical Centre stressed the theme of “pilgrimage of justice and peace” – a call from the WCC 10th Assembly in the Republic of Korea in 2013.
Website of the Act Now for Climate Justice campaign
WCC member churches pursue climate justice
(WCC news release of 1 April 2015)
WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation