At an interreligious meeting in Kazakhstan organized by the Holy See on 31 August, World Council of Churches (WCC) programme executive for interreligious dialogue Clare Amos shared insights from a Christian perspective on energy production and care for creation.
“I think it is telling that the great majority of references in the New Testament locate the origin of ‘energy’ in God,” said Amos. “It is perhaps an important and salutary reminder to people of faith that energy is a gift of God rather than something that belongs intrinsically to humanity.”
Our use and development of energy resources needs to take into account this essential theological truth, she added, so that what is life-giving or life-enhancing becomes a fundamental criterion for our choices, use and development of energy.
“Conversely that which potentially or actually threatens life is or should be the path less chosen,” she said.
Amos was among speakers who addressed the theme “All Together For the Care of Our Common Home.”
The interreligious meeting occurred in conjunction with Expo 2017, an international exposition taking place from 10 June to 10 September in Astana, Kazakhstan. The expo, with the theme "Future Energy,” was designed to create a global debate between countries, nongovernmental organizations, companies and the general public on the question: "How do we ensure safe and sustainable access to energy for all while reducing CO2 emissions?"
Amos offered an overview of some WCC policies and documents related to energy, among them WCC’s commitment to join the “Shine Campaign,” or “Shine: Investing in Energy Access for all,” which links together a commitment to end energy poverty experienced by many in our world. “The ‘all’ of Shine is important,” said Amos, “our desire to shift away from fossil fuels is not realistic or even just unless we overtly assist with the development of renewable forms of energy in energy poor parts of the globe.”
Amos also posed the question: what is the best means of being faithful to the future? “It is interesting that some key biblical symbols of the presence of the Spirit – wind and water – are precisely the tools and expression of key forms of renewable energy – using the power of water and the power of the winds,” she said. “I don’t think that this is accidental.”
In 2014, the WCC formally took a decision to disinvest from fossil fuels. “The WCC also strongly encourages the development and use of renewable sources of energy such as sun, wind, water and geo-thermal energy,” explained Amos.
Amos expressed appreciation to the Holy See for the opportunity to take part in an interreligious dialogue that focused on energy. “As we contemplated the future of sustainability together, we realized even more deeply the importance of our growing sense of trust and openness with each other.”