Climate crisis needs reset of global economic model

A boy walks across a field in Adaba, Ethiopia, near an irrigation and soil conservation site built by the Lutheran World Federation in the 1970s. It remains an important resource for people in the area. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert
A boy walks across a field in Adaba, Ethiopia, near an irrigation and soil conservation site built by the Lutheran World Federation in the 1970s. It remains an important resource for people in the area. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

LWF joins leaders of other Christian organizations in urgent appeal to heads of G20 nations ahead of Rome summit 

(LWI) - The climate crisis requires an urgent “system reset” of the world’s current development model “founded upon fossil fuel-driven economic growth.” That is the message to heads of the G20 nations from leaders of the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Methodist Council and the Council for World Mission. They stress that “these changes must happen within a rapidly closing window of opportunity.” 

The appeal for action towards a “just and sustainable future and flourishing earth community” comes in a letter to Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and leaders of the other G20 countries who will meet in Rome from 30 to 31 October ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. The letter warns that “unless a radical change is made to the current economic model, the goals of the Paris Agreement will not be met and the climate crisis will not be averted.” 

Unless a radical change is made to the current economic model, the goals of the Paris Agreement will not be met and the climate crisis will not be averted. 
Letter to heads of G20 nations from leaders of the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches, the World Communion

Citing “a growing body of evidence,” the Christian leaders offer five proposals for consideration at the G20 meeting which will focus on ‘People, Planet and Prosperity.” These include debt cancellation, carbon and pollution taxes, investment in the restoration of eco-systems and an immediate end to government subsidies of fossil fuel industries, with incentives directed instead towards renewable energies such as solar and wind.  

The letter also urges government leaders to replace economic growth measurements, especially Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with “indicators that assess the whole human economic, social and ecological condition.” Economic policies, they insist, “should be directed towards improving the health and wellbeing of communities and the planet” with progress measured in terms of “decent work, health and ecological sustainability.” 

Read the full letter here

LWF/P. Hitchen