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American and Swedish church leaders sign joint climate justice pledge

American and Swedish church leaders sign joint climate justice pledge

Church leaders and ecumenical organisations join tens of thousands in marching through the streets of New York City in a Climate Strike on 20 September, demanding climate justice now. Photo: Simon Chambers/ACT

26 September 2019

The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Church of Sweden have signed a joint pledge related to climate justice.

The message urges action on the unprecedented negative effects of climate change. “As we observe the Season of Creation, we renew the call for our churches to work together for the sake of Earth and to build collaborations wherever possible, both with other communities of faith and with diverse agents in our civil society,” the text reads. “Now is the time for science, politics, business, culture and religion - everything that is an expression of human dignity - to address together this critical issue for our time.”

The church leaders acknowledged they have been slow to recognize the urgency of this crisis. “We have turned away from our own roles in environmental degradation, clinging as we could to lifestyles of unsustainable waste and overuse even as others suffer from lack of necessities,” continues the message. “Moreover, majority cultures have ignored the insights of indigenous siblings among us who are too often deeply affected by climate change, even as they bear spiritual practices and wisdom that can help the people of God to walk a more sustainable - and more loving - course.”

The church leaders pledged to advocate for national and international policies and regulations that enable transitions to carbon neutral, resilient societies. “We will pursue education and advocacy efforts that attend to the most vulnerable, whose needs must be put ahead of the more privileged,” concludes the message. “We will raise awareness in our churches by promoting the use of education, worship and action resources available locally, regionally, nationally and globally.”


Member churches in the US

Member churches in Sweden