Climate Justice Now! Statement

January 16th, 2012 10:07 am

We, the participants of the study session Climate Justice Now! organised by the Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe (EYCE) and the World Student Christian Federation Europe region (WSCF-E), discussed climate justice on practical and theoretical levels.

As young Christians we acknowledge that we should be agents of change, living examples and multipliers of a sustainable way of life. Solidarity and social justice on local, national and global levels should be manifested through education, prayer, lobbying and sharing our expertise.

We have agreed that addressing the following issues is crucial for a just and sustainable future.

Christian Perspectives

According to scriptures and our Christian roots, we understand that human beings are part of creation and depend on it. At the same time, we have a responsibility to act as ministers of creation, tending and protecting it as the Good Shepherd tends and protects the sheep (John 10: 1-30, Romans 8: 18-22).

Creation is more than the natural world. Creation encompasses social, political and economic structures. Human beings are co-creators with God.

We call on Christian leaders to promote eco-theology, and to be actively involved in education and political campaigns on climate justice. We recognise the need to raise awareness about the environment and remind humankind that God calls upon us to care for creation. (Genesis 2: 15)

Consumerism

Excessive consumption and unlimited growth are dominant features of many societies. A prevalent belief is that there are no viable alternatives to this way of life, which is based on unsustainable technology and development.

Yet, as Christians, we are called to live politically active and socially responsible lives. Moreover, we demand that our churches join together in the effort to promote responsible consumption and sufficiency. We must question the status quo, and lead by example, demonstrating that a sustainable, yet progressive way of life is indeed possible.

Education

Present realities in different countries indicate that there is a lack of holistic, realistic and fact-based education. This can lead to ineffective responses to climate challenges.

Education is one of the crucial tools in combating climate challenges and must embody the ideas that follow.

Firstly, holistic climate education must include aspects of awareness raising through formal, non-formal and informal education. We must also encourage research and development of technology for sustainable ways of life.

Secondly, inter-generational and inter-religious dialogue should be secured in order to achieve stronger cooperation in society, transmitting information, experiences and best practice.

Finally, the cooperation of various sectors in society (e.g. private sector, government, media and civil society) is essential to provide sufficient access to climate education on all levels and to secure the financial basis for this. We need the whole society to contribute.

Climate Refugees

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25: 40)

We acknowledge that the ever increasing number of climate refugees is impossible to ignore. People who need refuge due to detrimental effects of climate change must be recognised as climate refugees and thus benefit from the same rights as all other categories of refugees. Lobbying and awareness raising among society and stakeholders is needed in order to achieve this recognition.

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