With a small team of Christians, I was blessed to help write a faith statement that was signed and released in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 21, two weeks before the next round of U.N.-sponsored climate negotiations, COP27, begins in Egypt. The statement – “A Faithful Voice on Hunger and Climate Justice” – announces our deep intention to come together across boundaries of nationality, race, and class to address climate change and hunger.
The statement begins:
As Christians from Africa, Europe, and North America, we share a fierce resolve to stand and work together to end the hunger crisis made worse by climate instability, to renew God’s creation, and to bring our planet into balance, forming a beloved community in which all of creation can thrive. Climate justice is our means for furthering this resolve…
Using the language of lament and confession, the statement frames the climate crisis as a moral and spiritual summons to Christians – and all people of faith and good will – to participate in the growing worldwide movement to restore reverence and justice for Earth and all her communities.
To address the hunger crisis made worse by climate change, we draw from the wellsprings of our Christian faith. We recognize Christ’s suffering presence in the communities hurt first and hardest by climate change: those without adequate means to flourish, the historically underserved, and those least likely to have a voice at the table where policy decisions are made – the very people who suffer disproportionately even as their contribution to global emissions is almost negligible. We also recognize Christ’s liberating, life-giving presence in the individuals and communities who refuse to settle for a killing status quo and who rise up to affirm the dignity of all people and the sacredness of Earth…
The statement includes a call to action:
African faith leaders have invited faith leaders from high-income countries in Europe and North America to come alongside them with policies that align in establishing climate justice and ending hunger. Together, we seek public policies that yield measurable results and meaningful change for those disproportionately affected by hunger and climate change. We recognize that high-income countries have historically been the highest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions and have strategic roles to play in ending the dual hunger and climate crisis.
You can read the complete statement here.
The statement was released in conjunction with a “Convocation on Climate Hunger” organized by the U.S.-based Bread for the World and hosted in Nairobi by the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC-CETA). The press release, “Christian Leaders from Africa, Europe, and the U.S. Unify on Climate Change and Hunger Ahead of COP27,” is available here. I didn’t travel to Kenya, but I am grateful to have contributed to this initiative.
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