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WCC addresses high-level segment of COP25

WCC addresses high-level segment of COP25

"#TimeForAction is Now" reads an official signboard at COP25 as media gather to cover an unauthorized protest outside the plenary hall of COP25. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

12 December 2019

If the world is to address the climate emergency, every person must be involved in a transformation on many levels, notes a message from the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the UN climate talks this week.

“We call for systemic, cultural and spiritual transformations that may be translated into changes in the ways we live, produce and consume,” reads the message of the WCC on behalf of the faith-based organizations presented to the High-Level Ministerial Segment of COP25, on 10 December, in Madrid, Spain.

Entitled “World Leaders Must Act Now in the Face of Climate Emergency,” the message expressed concern that governments’ “short-term focus on political wins and economic gains is undermining the spirit of cooperation that made the Paris Agreement come to life” and expressed disappointment at  “the failure of many governments, especially the biggest emitters, to embrace sufficient climate action needed to stabilize temperatures to a 1.5 C limit, and regressive measures such as those that place additional financial burdens on poor communities and that criminalize ecological defenders.”

The message stressed that it is indispensable that lifestyles, supported by socio-economic policies and institutions, respect ecological boundaries. “In our different faith traditions, we find strong orientations to defend the vulnerable and to abstain in favor of the less fortunate. We fast for the rights of all to a good life,” reads the message.

At COP25, the message was presented by Arianne van Andel, from the La Alianza Interreligiosa y Espiritual por el Clima, Chile. Van Andel, an accredited member of the WCC delegation at COP25, was supposed to have been one of the key ecumenical hosting partners had COP25 pushed through in Chile. Numerous protests against increasing levels of inequality in Chile provoked the sudden transfer of COP25 from Santiago to Madrid.

The 25th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change goes on until 13 December.

Read the full message

WCC Executive Committee Statement on Climate Change Emergency (November 2019)

"Rev. James Bhagwan: climate-induced displacement is traumatizing generations of people" - WCC interview (12 December 2019)

"Interfaith group delivers message to COP25" - WCC news release 10 December 2019

“We have the mission to care for God’s creation”, says Brazilian church leader at COP25 - WCC news release 10 December 2019

“See humans as part of creation” in addressing climate emergency" - WCC news release 6 December 2019

"A holistic approach to climate change" - WCC news release 3 December 2019

"Interfaith dialogue prior to COP25 calls for unity, action to confront climate crisis" - WCC news release 3 December 2019

"Climate Finance for Addressing Loss and Damage" - a publication by Brot für die Welt, ACT Alliance, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches

Learn more about the WCC work on Care for Creation and Climate Justice