The UNFCCC climate talks in Peru were a proverbial who’s-who of religious leaders, scientists and political diplomats; further solidifying climate action as a unifier of social causes. From the World Council of Churches (WCC) to the Quaker United Nations Office, Lima was bustling with faith-based organizations ‘finding their voice’ in the discourse.
Amidst the political leaders who busied themselves with contracts, agreements and expense reports, religious leaders offered a salient voice of moral guidance. WCC Program Executive for Care for Creation and Climate Justice, Dr. Guillermo Kerber, shared that, ”Climate change is an ethical issue. Those who are and will be suffering the most from the consequences of climate change are those who contributed the least to the causes of climate change"
While addressing your congregation in the coming year, emphasis that climate action is a matter of social justice. Blessed Tomorrow leader, Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley, contends that, “Climate change is a civil and human rights issue that will take all of us—all religions, all colors, all walks of life—to solve. It is a righteous cause with a moral responsibility.”
Here are some key talking points to keep in mind when motivating climate action:
- Identify how values shape climate engagement
- Lead with solutions to boost engagement
- Show your audience members how they can become part of the solution
It felt like the world had descended upon Lima, Peru. Political leaders, scientists, activists, NGOs, world leaders and religious leaders gathered at the COP20 (20th annual Conference of the Parties, sponsored by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)) in Lima to discuss climate change and sustainability.
Each group had a similar goal: to save the planet and work for social justice and human rights. There were many ways identified to reach this goal and each group had its own. In some cases, groups and government delegations had agendas, mostly motivated by financial issues. They sometimes used their influence to block issue or slow things down. But the overall goal is to contribute to saving the planet, achieving social justice and protect human rights.
COP20 sought to tackle one of the most important issues of our time: the human impact upon the environment that is contributing to climate change. It has not taken us long to come to the point where our way of life is leading us on the road to destruction of the earth.