Our children, future generations, the global poor and other species face the worst consequences of climate change yet bear the least responsibility. This is a grave injustice.
The decisions we make in the next few years will determine the severity of climate change for all these vulnerable neighbours.
Yet God is passionate about the world in all its beautiful diversity. Pursuing climate justice today means reclaiming our human vocation of humble care for one another and the creatures around us. In a world changing faster than at any point in human history, climate justice is an inescapable part of Christian discipleship for Australians today.
THE GOOD REPORT
We began our work as the Common Grace Climate Justice Team by publicly supporting the action of Pacific Islander chiefs who were in Australia to draw attention to the cost their island homes were paying for excessive fossil fuel emissions.
Next, in one of our most high profile and controversial campaigns, for Christmas in 2014, Common Grace members crowd-funded solar panels for Kirribilli House - the Prime Minister’s Sydney residence - as a gift for the nation that amplified a Christian voice for clean energy. A group of local church pastors from different denominations delivered them to the Prime Minister’s office. When a few months later the Trust rejected our gift because of Kirribilli House’s heritage listing, along with maintenance costs and security concerns, we responded to the concerns with solutions and urged the PM to #acceptthegift with a strong social media campaign and a petition of over 1,000 people, but to no avail! Finally, we were able to find the perfect recipients for our solar panel gift with the help of Josh Gilbert, chair of NSW Young Farmers Association... frontline Aussie farmers Derek and Kirrily Blomfield and their two boys Patrick and Reilly. The Blomfields are local legends in the Liverpool Plains of NSW, known for being passionate about regenerative agriculture and educating young farmers and… wait for it… they accepted the gift!
As a team we also worked hard to mobilise a large Christian presence for the People’s Climate March for November 2015. In partnership with a coalition of Christian justice groups who are passionate about justice, we spearheaded a climate justice conference called Light the Way in preparation, where we trained young Christian climate justice leaders in community organising and mobilisation.
On the day of the March we saw a fabulous turn out of Christians to stand in solidarity with Pacific Islanders whose homes are under great threat.
We endeavoured to resource Christians to change the conversation in their churches and personal worlds, focusing on high profile climate justice moments like Earth Hour and the release of the Pope’s Encyclical and also travelled to Parliament House with an unlikely alliance of community leaders to deliver a campaign for a pollution free future.
HOPES & PLANS
Moving forward, we are clear that we long to see a stronger Christian movement for climate justice and have a strong conviction that we can contribute the hope we have in Christ to an issue that often feels hopeless. Furthermore, we are compelled to care both for God’s beautiful earth and for its inhabitants, particularly those who are most affected by climate change.
We have formed strong relationships with partner organisations and have done much to train young Christian climate leaders and we are well-positioned to work in collaboration with Pacific Islanders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Australia’s farmers.
From here, we see our task being finding effective ways to engage Christians in the task of caring for God’s beautiful earth and resourcing both everyday Christians and church leaders to take effective action. We are hoping to provide a range of resources and opportunities that will suit people wherever they are at on their journey to advocating for climate justice, from fast petitions at key moments, to small group resources for churches. Together, we are determined to raise a Christian voice for caring for God’s earth.
Donate to our Climate Justice work with a 1st Birthday Gift here.