“We all know that Africa is really affected by issues of climate change,” he said. “It’s a moral obligation by the church to protect the environment.”
Shava believes our environment, our world, is given to us by God.
“But God did not give the men the position or the permission to destroy the environment,” he said. “This is the issue—that God wants people to protect the environment, not destroy it.”
The walk-and-talk gives a glimpse of the COP27 Youth Patio, where young people are gathering.
If people say youth complain too much, Shava said they have good reason. “You see the picture of world leaders—there is no young person,” he said. “There are few women—and there are no young people at all.”
That’s why young people are complaining, he said—but they are also taking action by starting companies, changing mindsets, and uniting to strengthen their advocacy.
“It’s not that young people aren’t doing anything but complaining,” he said. “We are participating.”
Shava said COP27 should be a COP for the youth in Africa. “There’s a lot of ‘blah, blah, blah’ here—they talk and talk and talk,” he said. “We don’t really have time to talk—we need the action now if people are going to stop the effects of climate change.”
Shava believes that churches have a moral obligation. “Some of those who are negotiating here, some who are world leaders, they go to churches,” he said. “This can be done.”
Youth must also do more to push the leaders of their countries and from their communities. “That is what the youth must do,” he said. “They must push and push and push and make sure the outcomes come.”
He added that the momentum from COP27 must remain high. “In addition, the churches must provide space for young people to speak for climate justice— and for climate action, not just talk and talk and talk.”