OSJ Creation Care Update | November 27, 2019
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We are less than a week away from the annual UN climate conference (COP25) which will take place in Madrid, Spain from December 2 -13. Thousands of delegates and world leaders will gather at the summit to discuss implementation strategies for global climate action by way of the Paris Agreement. Made possible by the Christian Climate Observers Program (CCOP), the Climate Witness Project is sending a delegation as Christian climate observers as part of the evangelical Christian presence advocating for God’s creation at the summit. The CCOP coalition aims to represent a Christ-centered perspective at the COP by advocating for bold climate actions designed to honor our Creator and demonstrate love toward those being adversely impacted by the injustice of climate change.

In this newsletter issue, we introduce you to the CWP delegation to COP25 and explain why this year’s summit is particularly important in the fight for global climate action.

We encourage you to sign up to receive daily updates from the climate negotiations, hear some of the stories happening in and around the COP, and join in prayer for the success of global climate action. This is your opportunity to follow along and hear directly from our CWP delegation who will be at COP25 as well as a chance to engage with other Christian climate observers at the summit.

Meet Our Delegation to COP25

Lindsay Mouw

Lindsay grew up in Sioux Center, Iowa and graduated from Dordt University in 2017 with a degree in biology, environmental science, and political science. She serves as the Iowa Regional Organizer for the Climate Witness Project and on the steering committee for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action. She is currently working on a US Senate campaign in Iowa for a candidate (Vice Admiral Michael Franken (ret.)) whose top priority is addressing the climate crisis.

Question #1: As a person of faith, what motivates you to take action on climate change?
I am motivated to act on climate out of a deep love for my Creator. All of creation was brought into being for the purpose of bringing God glory. At the pinnacle of creation is humankind, which God tasked with stewarding and protecting the Earth. Secondly, I am motivated to act on climate out of love for my neighbor. We do not fully love our neighbors until we care for the earth that sustains them. Ultimately, my desire is for my life to bring God glory and someday hear the words, “well done good and faithful servant.”

Question #2: Since not everyone is able to be at COP25 in person, what are your ideas for all of us who want to join in this work in Madrid by taking action at home?
It is not the role of everyone to be a climate activist, but as members of one body it is important to support those who are carrying out different roles and learn from them to inform your own faith life. A simple way to follow along and engage with the work happening at COP25 is to sign up for the CCOP (Christians Climate Observer Program) newsletter. You can also take climate action at home through a variety of means. Consider your daily lifestyle habits and assess those that are not promoting proper stewardship of creation to find ways to live more sustainably. Think of opting to ride your bike to work instead of drive and buying less or used instead of new as acts of daily worship. You may also use what you learn from those at COP25 to create political will to act on climate through writing op-eds and calling your public officials. I urge you to commit to praying in your daily life about this and see what happens.

Richard Killmer

Rich is a retired Presbyterian minister who has worked for national religious organizations and denominations. He was the director of environmental justice for the National Council of Churches from 1996 to 2002 staffing an ecumenical group that addressed climate change and other creation care issues. He lives in both Grand Rapids, Michigan and Yarmouth, Maine. He helped create the Climate Witness Project beginning in 2014 and has served the CWP since that date. He is currently the Associate Coordinator of the CWP.

Question #1: As a person of faith, what motivates you to take action on climate change?
Wherever there is brokenness in the world God gets there first, healing that which is broken and calling people of faith to participate in God’s healing work. The climate crisis has already caused incredible damage in God’s creation and unless we rally together to address it, it will cause untold harm, especially to people who are poor.

Question #2: Since not everyone is able to be at COP25 in person, what are your ideas for all of us who want to join in this work in Madrid by taking action at home?
The Climate Witness Program of World Renew and the Office of Social Justice of the CRCNA is helping individual Christians and their congregations respond to the climate crisis through four pillars of work: worship, education, energy stewardship (helping congregations rely on renewable energy) and advocacy. The CWP provides suggestions, resources, and opportunities for their work. Once a congregation has three Climate Witness Partners, their congregation is a CWP congregation. When the delegation is in Madrid would be a great time for members to encourage others to sign up to be Climate Witness Partners.

Why Is the UN Meeting on Climate Change so Important?

“Providing money to the developing world to enable them to produce renewable energy and to fix those things that are broken by the climate crisis is another issue facing COP 25. The Paris Agreement states that by 2020 $100 billion will be raised for the Green Climate Fund and other various funds from developed nations, some developing nations and private sources to enable developing nations to deal with the harm caused by the climate crisis. Additional funding is still needed to reach that goal.

In most cultures, women take care of both people and the environment. Women commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change. The Gender Action Plan, created under the Lima work Programme on gender, seeks to advance women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in responding to the climate crisis, promote gender-responsive climate policy, and ensure that a gender perspective is a part of the work to implement the Paris Agreement. COP 25 is set to evaluate and report on the progress on the Gender Action Plan.”

Continue reading the Do Justice blog post here »