Young Christians across the UK have warned world leaders that many lives are at risk from increased disasters caused by climate change. Now, they’re making their voices heard ahead of the UN climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
The 11-19 year olds behind the Take A Stand campaign see tackling the climate crisis as a key part of living out their Christian faith. They recognise their responsibility to care for God’s creation, and know that the climate crisis is already harming some of the world’s poorest people.
Tearfund, in collaboration with Creation Fest and the Diocese of Truro, helped bring the group of passionate young Christians together in the run-up to the G7 summit in Cornwall in spring 2021. We supported them to develop and launch their own online campaign, Take A Stand, which aims to raise awareness of climate concerns – both inside and outside of the church.
A letter to world leaders
The group has written an open letter to world leaders, urging them to cut carbon dioxide emissions and support the world’s poorest communities that have been affected by climate change.
‘With every fraction of a degree that temperatures rise, hurricanes get stronger, droughts last longer, forests burn, and whole islands disappear into the sea,’ they write. ‘And it’s people who have done the least to cause the climate crisis – people already living in poverty – who are already suffering the worst effects.
‘As Christians, God asks us to love our neighbours – near and far – but your failure to act is putting their lives at risk. Today we are at a tipping point. We can stop this, but after decades of promises the action we need is still not happening.’
The letter soon surpassed the original goal of 1,000 signatures, and is now on course to gain 5,000 signatures by COP26 in Glasgow. The young people also created a video and a prayer resource.