Facing the climate emergency with faith and action

Stephanie Joy Abnasan (Lutheran Church in the Philippines), LWF delegate to COP25 in Madrid, Spain, during a protest for climate justice. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert
Stephanie Joy Abnasan (Lutheran Church in the Philippines), LWF delegate to COP25 in Madrid, Spain, during a protest for climate justice. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

COP25: Courage for the work back home  

Catastrophes all over the world are wreaking havoc more frequently than ever because of the climate change. My country, the Philippines, is one of the most vulnerable countries experiencing the impacts of this climate crisis. 

Coinciding with the opening of COP25 at the beginning of December 2019, it experienced yet another typhoon, killing 12 of my people and displacing thousands more, leaving them homeless and uncertain of their future. 

Science has provided the facts: we are now in a state of climate emergency. How can we, as a people of faith, adapt and take climate action in the face of all the frustrating and devastating effects of climate change? How can we respond to these ills and troubles despite fear and uncertainty of the future generation’s survival?  

In a time of crisis, it is always important to go back to one’s core values, principles, and spirituality. Without these, it’s easy to lose hope and surrender. But knowing that God’s will for us is life and everlasting good, in faith, we can release our fears to Him and continue to have hope of a better tomorrow, where our children will no longer go to the streets and fight for climate justice, where all of God’s creation, humans and all creatures alike, coexist and enjoy what creation has always been, that “it was very good”.  

I take on the challenge to continue my environmental advocacy, to lead by example and to collaborate with others.
Stephanie Joy Abnasan, Lutheran Church in the Philippines

And amid our most trying and painful times in this climate emergency, as a people of faith, it is always best to go back to God’s word. It will continue to give us hope, strength and reassurance for the days ahead. It also reminds us of our role as stewards of creation to care for it. This will give us courage to be more responsible and to take Climate action now. We continue to pray for our leaders and policymakers to be endowed with wisdom to make the necessary decisions towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement, but we also take action in our earthly life through responsible consumption, adopting nature-based solutions and sustainable living.  

Going to the COP25 in Madrid, Spain, as a delegate of the Lutheran World Federation as a young person, listening to and engaging with youth delegates and delegates from different faith-based groups, I am fully convinced that there is a lot of work to be done back home. I will return to my family, my church, my workplace, and my country encouraged, enabled, equipped and empowered as I take on the challenge to continue my environmental advocacy, to lead by example and to collaborate with others. I left COP25 filled with hope and courage and to take climate action now.  

Ms Stephanie Joy Abnasan (Lutheran Church in the Philippines), LWF delegate to COP25 in Madrid, Spain 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of Lutheran World Federation policy.