By Donald Moss
As leaders and environmentalists gather in Glasgow at the end of this month for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the world will be hoping for definitive action to tackle our climate emergency.
Watching on from Melbourne will be Moderator Denise Liersch and the Synod’s Senior Social Justice Advocate Mark Zirnsak.
Before then, though, Denise and Mark have a message that Uniting Church members can have their voices heard and make a difference in advocating for measures that help tackle the climate emergency and build a better world.
Denise says while the world’s attention has been rightly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, its focus also needs to now shift towards strong action on tackling climate change as we approach COP26, from October 31 to November 12.
COP26, says Denise, offers an opportunity for people around the world to work in unison to address the challenges of climate change.
“A commitment to the world God so loves, to work as co-creators with God for a flourishing world, is a matter of faith,” Denise says.
“A commitment to working to mitigate climate change, is a matter of faith.
“The call has consistently been to commit to changes in human activity needed to work against environmental damage and climate change.”
Mark hopes COP26 and concerted grassroots campaigning will shine a light on the need to urgently tackle the climate issue.
“Climate change is a threat to the wellbeing of all people and natural environments across the globe,” he says.
“Our faith teaches us that we need to live in harmony with God’s creation.”
Mark says many Uniting Church congregations are already implementing measures to address climate change, but there is much more that can be done.
He says while most congregations have already taken action in their own communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is more to do.
“At the same time, there is a need to urge governments to set collective targets and take serious action to drive down emissions to curb the impact of climate change,” Mark says.
At a more local level, those members wishing to take ongoing action can also join the Synod Climate Action Taskforce.
Through joining, they can receive material, from the Synod Justice and International Mission Cluster, which puts pressure on Australian governments to take urgent action on climate change.
To connect with either of these options, email [email protected]