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A recap on Reboot

As we wrap up our Reboot campaign, we look back at all that’s happened through this one-of-a-kind campaign. 

Written by Sarah Wiggins | 17 Dec 2021

Tearfund staff marching in Glasgow for the COP26 Day of Action (Chris Hoskins/Tearfund)

As 2021 comes to an end, so does our Reboot campaign – a one-of-a-kind campaign that began by looking at new opportunities to build a better post-coronavirus world. Tearfund’s climate campaign lead, Sarah Wiggins, reflects on all that’s happened over a momentous year-and-a-half.

‘In turbulent times, it's important we stay focused on the bigger picture.’

Back in May 2020, we sent these words in an email to launch Tearfund’s Reboot campaign. Despite the huge uncertainty of those days, more than 5,000 Christians wrote to the prime minister calling for the UK Government to rebuild in a way that prioritises the poorest, tackles the climate emergency, and creates a better world for everyone.

Together, we’ve done so much since then! The other day, I was asked, ‘How much of a difference does our campaigning make?’ The power really is in numbers, and also in diversity. Our actions have the greatest impact when we join with others. That’s a big reason why we chose to collaborate in wider coalitions and movements for the Reboot campaign. Over the last year and a half, this campaign has helped to:

  • keep climate change higher up the UK Government’s agenda. For example, more than 15,000 people talked to 280 MPs during The Climate Coalition’s Virtual Lobby in July 2020.
  • influence the end of public funding for fossil fuels overseas, which will also significantly help slow global temperature rise. In December 2020, we influenced the UK’s decision to stop this funding – which it has now done. We continued praying and raising our voices through to COP26 last month. The UK was joined by almost 40 other countries and institutions, resulting in over US$24 billion potentially being shifted out of fossil fuels into renewables, improving energy access for the poorest.
  • build momentum in the wider movement. For instance, tens of thousands of us took part in the ‘Wave of Hope’ ahead of the G7 this June, also helping to galvanise people ahead of COP26.
  • see breakthroughs through prayer. More than 1,800 people have signed up to receive weekly climate prayer points over SMS. We give thanks for many answered prayers.
  • send a clear signal to the prime minister that even during a pandemic, the public still want the UK to act for the poorest around the world. We have done this right the way through – from the letters to the prime minister in May 2020 to the giant ‘Proof is in the pudding’ Christmas card with 50,000 signatures that we delivered to Parliament this week.
Protesters in parliament square with a giant Christmas card for Boris Johnson (Tearfund)

Campaigners in Parliament Square delivering the giant Christmas card calling for climate action.

Times have changed since the start of the pandemic, and painfully, times of turbulence now seem to be the norm. So, to take our own advice from back then, I have been wondering what the bigger picture is that we should focus on now – and what difference we can hope for. As we wrap up the Reboot campaign, and look forward to more climate campaigning in 2022, the original priorities remain: addressing climate change, poverty and inequality.

Through difficult times, we are learning to keep going, trusting in God’s faithfulness, no matter what is thrown at us. Amid all the restrictions and uncertainty, our Christian climate movement has grown bigger and broader, and we have been part of bringing about change. This gives us hope and joy as our journey carries on, and reminds us to keep trusting in our all-loving, just and powerful God. I’m encouraged, as I turn to 2022, by the clarion call of Amos 5:24:

‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!’
Amos 5:24

With our eyes fixed on God, we will keep calling out for climate justice. One of the ways in which COP26 fell short was that richer nations did not deliver on their overdue promises to invest in helping communities on the frontline innovate and respond to the climate crisis. So this is what we’ll be focusing on in 2022. Alongside this, we’re looking forward to sharing some more stories of what has been working: for UK Christian climate campaigners, and also stories of people bringing about change in poorer communities around the world.

To close, we’d like to thank all our supporters who have sacrificially remained faithful and continued campaigning during the pandemic. It really has made a difference. God goes before us – and may justice roll on like a river.

Written by

Written by  Sarah Wiggins

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