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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

People of faith ‘must act over climate change’

A Christian climate change charity is urging the Church to speak out on the issue and “make its moral voice heard”.

Nicky Bull, CEO at Operation Noah said: “Women, children and the poor make up the vast majority of those already bearing the consequences of climate change today, and for low-lying island nations, climate change increasingly threatens the lives and livelihoods of those least responsible for today’s climate crisis.

“On this most pressing injustice, the Church today can, and must, make its moral voice heard.”
Ms Bull’s call comes as the charity launched a thought-provoking animated film, Sālote, to help Christians around the world recognise the human cost of a changing climate, and its particular impact on women and children.

While most adults in the UK think that climate change is real and caused primarily by human activity, many Christians don’t yet see this as a faith issue. Among theologically conservative Christians in particular, recent polling indicates that concern for the future impact of environmental issues is taken less seriously than in other parts of the church.

Stephen Edwards, outreach campaigner at Operation Noah, explained that there is often a disconnect between head and heart when it comes to climate change.

“For many Christians today, the prevailing stories of climate change are dominated by impersonal statistics and complex weather patterns. So for many of us, it can feel difficult to see what this stuff has to do with loving our neighbour.

“Through this brief first-person story, we hope more Christians will gain a clearer picture of the human impact and moral urgency of climate change, which remains one of the most profound injustices in our world today,” he said.

The animated video Sālote, aimed at Christians of all ages and developed in partnership with the World Day of Prayer, a women-led, global, ecumenical movement, tells the story of Sālote, a seven-year old girl who is already experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change in her South Pacific island home.

The film is inspired by real-life accounts of present-day climate change impacts, which hit the poor and vulnerable, living in sensitive parts of the world like low-lying islands. UN figures indicate that women and children are 14 times more likely than men to die or be injured during extreme weather events such as cyclones, which are projected to increase significantly as global average temperatures rise.

• Sālote is a free resource and is now available to watch on YouTube and Operation Noah’s website: An activity pack, factsheet and colouring-in pages, which Operation Noah is encouraging Christians to use during the upcoming Season of Creation, can also be downloaded here.