The Green Anglicans movement is an initiative started by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. It is focused on empowering and encouraging the church to care for the earth in a responsible manner.
In August 2022, the bishops of the Anglican Church joined the Christian Climate Action protestors at the annual Lambeth Conference. They urged the church to take a strong stand against climate change. The protestors called on the Church of England to use its moral voice and speak out against climate change, which they consider to be a racial injustice issue. They also demanded that the church divest from its fossil fuel investments and sign up for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty aims to stop the exploitation of fossil fuels. It also aims to manage the transition away from coal, gas, and oil to clean energy sources.
Heading into the conference the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby established a process called the Lambeth Calls, to discuss the key issues including environment and sustainable development.
“The Anglican Church is part of the cloud of witnesses that affirms that God has called us to be stewards of His world. It is in this vein that we must continuously advocate for the best possible use of the resources of our world. Each Anglican must be a voice that challenges those entities which allow their quest for accumulation of wealth and material possessions to abuse the created order,” said Rev. Canon Reid, Anglican priest-in-charge in Anguilla.
According to Reid, the increasing number of insatiable quests will only contribute to the degradation of our environment and priority must be given to the preservation of balance for the benefit of future generations.
“There is a need for justice for the many persons in small island states whose quality of life becomes drastically diminished and in some instances, their survival is threatened,” he said.
In February, at the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC18) in Accra, Ghana a resolution was passed in support of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. The resolution was presented during a session by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network.
Rev. Dr Rachel Mash, serving as the secretary of the Anglican Communion Environment Network addressed the clergy during ACC18 and spoke on the aspect of the Fifth Mark of Mission focusing on the current climate emergency. She said that when a company that is involved in the production of fossil fuels comes to your country, around 10% of its profits will go to your country, and up to 90% will go to its overseas shareholders.
“One hundred percent of the environmental destruction remains in your country, 100 percent of the human rights abuses take place in your country. This is environmental racism, this is neo-plantation economics, let us break the chains of oppression. We call for a just transition where developing nations are enabled to move to decentralized renewable energy,” said Mash.
If other nations continue to profit from the fossil fuel industry, then countries will not be able to cut their own emissions. An international treaty can help countries reach a common goal of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Similar treaties have been able to successfully reduce nuclear arsenals and landmines.
Mash ended her presentation with a thought-provoking quote from a Christian climate scientist Dr Katharine Hayhoe: “Here is where the turning point must occur. Will we allow fear to paralyze us or use it to galvanize us into action? Only one path leads to hope, the other leads us into despair. It is only our actions that offer the chance for a better future.”