Youth with "we can't turn back" sign for climate

60,000 young people in the street of New York to call for climate justice. 2019


The World Council of Churches is standing behind a call for action on climate justice issued by global youth religious organizations. The appeal—initiated by the World Student Christian Federation in Europe, Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe Network, and Junge Buddhisthe Union joined by the Lutheran World Federation, the European Christian Environmental Network, and the Council of European Churches—is drawing other organizations in solidarity to come together for climate justice.

“The prolonged and continued destruction of Earth, our shared home, directly goes against the values and teachings which we, young people of faith, embrace and uphold,” reads the appeal. “We acknowledge that some of us are more fortunate and less affected by the climate emergency.”

The young people commit themselves to work on finding solutions and strategies that decrease their carbon footprints. “We will help in creating a more green and just world, a world that will ensure equality among different people, countries and continents,” the message reads. “It is vital we not only act as individuals, but also hold those in power accountable for their own actions.”

The youth also pledge to ensure representation of minorities, youth and women in the decision making processes for peace politics. 

“We urge our religious leaders to show the necessary leadership and guide our communities towards a more prosperous and more eco-just world,” reads the message. “We urge you to use scriptures, religious teaching and religious language to set an example for the communities you serve to follow.”

The message also reminds religious leaders to be leading examples.

“We acknowledge that our planet not only belongs to us, but to those who are yet to come,” concludes the message. “Intergenerational solidarity is a minimum that should and must be exercised.”

Read the full statement