General Synod attendees – you are invited to the memorial service of the children who have fallen victim to this climate emergency

Christian Climate Action invites all General Synod members to stand alongside us at a vigil outside Church House, at 8:30 am on Wednesday 12th February. This vigil will be a memorial service for all the children who have already been killed by the climate emergency.

Fossil-fuelled destruction of creation by the most powerful is stealing from children around the world right now. Children are being pushed into desperation and stripped of the basics that they need to sustain themselves. Each moment we delay action, and every fractional increase in temperature, causes more needless suffering – disease, conflict, migration, psychological trauma and early death.

A climate emergency has been declared around the world, however unless we take an immediate emergency response, we are allowing more innocent lives to be lost. The World Health Organisation outlines the relationships between climate change and child health and estimates that we can expect an additional 250,000 climate change related deaths per year.

The Church of England has been behind the moral curve when it comes to acknowledging and responding to the climate crisis; Church divestment has been postponed and the National Farmers Union (2040) and the UK water industry (2030) are just two examples of bodies which have been more ambitious in their zero emissions target than the CofE. It’s good that the Church of England has recognised this is something that we can and must change. The debate on the net zero emissions target taking place at General Synod is a positive first step. However, this climate emergency will not wait for us. We in the Church must act with urgency if we wish to stand on the right side of history and prove we hold the lives of children and youth as precious.

We call on the Church of England to:
1. BE PROPHETIC. Tell the truth, to power and to society, about the danger of this ecological collapse for the lives of young people. We must tell the hard truth that in order to tackle this climate emergency we have to take action which is unprecedented in speed and scale.
2. DIVEST NOW from all investments in fossil fuel businesses. The time for engagement with these powers is over. Continuing to invest in fossil fuel extraction and burning means being complicit in ongoing harm to children.
3. LEAD BY EXAMPLE and reduce carbon emissions of the Church to zero by 2025, commensurate with the grave dangers which children face. The Church at its roots is not made to merely follow the political status quo but to hold those in power to account and change society for the better. We have the power to envision the leading of joyful, satisfying and just lives within the limits of our common home.

We hope that you will be able to stand with us at this memorial service, as we mourn the loss of God’s beautiful children and come to terms with the part we have played in their passing.

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” ― William Wilberforce

References:

Memorial service facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1018290401869094/
NFU, Achieving Net Zero; Farmings 2040 goal, 2019
Water UK, Public Interest Commitment, 2019
WHO, Quantitative Risk Assessment of the Effects of Climate Change on Selected causes of Death, 2030s and 2050s, 2014

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