Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit speaking in Oslo, Norway. © Church of Norway

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit speaking in Oslo, Norway. © Church of Norway

“Now is the time for someone to take action, to start building that bridge. It is possible, if we all contribute our part,” said World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in Oslo, Norway on 17 February.

Speaking at a convention of union members and political leaders, Tveit offered the final reflection on a day under the theme ”Bridges to the future”.

“Looking back at our past climate engagement as a community of faith,” Tveit reflected, “I can say we have taken many steps together, and it is clear that we strongly believe in efforts to stop climate change. And what is more, we believe strongly in the work for climate justice, and in shared responsibility in addressing these issues.”

Tveit’s speech followed a debate between political party leaders on a variety of approaches to climate issues, employment, sustainability, and development, and he stressed the importance of continuing to hope, and to dare to lead by example.

“Noway is a scarcely populated country,” said Tveit, “but it has an important role to play in the work for climate justice. To show that it is possible to make wise use of available resources, of democracy, and our values, to create something new.”

“Sometimes we need to look not only to avoid what is damaging to our environment, but to also think actively and creatively on what the best solutions are, that we want to pursue.”

“We have also sometimes had a tendency to look at others as our opponents,” Tveit added. “Instead, I believe we should acknowledge those investors, businesses, individuals, youth movements and women’s movements, who have all worked for the same thing. There are many who want to contribute.”

“Perhaps our greatest task as people of faith is to say ‘we have the right to hope’”, Tveit concluded. “And having been here today, I will say I now feel even more strengthened in my hope, that there are people willing to take action, willing to work together to build bridges for the future.”

Video: web streaming from Bridges to the future, including Tveit’s speech (in Norwegian)

WCC work on Care for creation and climate justice