LWF COP 19 Delegation Fasts for the Poor and Vulnerable

Many of the 15,000+ participants at the UN climate change conference are civil society. Photo: Sean Hawkey
Many of the 15,000+ participants at the UN climate change conference are civil society. Photo: Sean Hawkey

Call for Meaningful Outcome to Climate Change Negotiations

(LWI) – The official delegation of the Lutheran World Federation to the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 19) has decided to fast in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable who are disproportionality affected by extreme weather events.

More than 190 countries are represented at the COP 19 as it meets from 11-22 November in Warsaw, Poland to negotiate solutions to global climate challenges. One of the primary aims is to cut CO2 emissions.

The Philippine representative, Yeb Saño, addressed the opening session on 11 November with a passionate plea for a substantial outcome of the climate negotiations. In solidarity with his countrymen and women affected by super typhoon Haiyan, he pledged to fast “until a meaningful outcome is in sight.”

LWF member churches have experienced first-hand the increasing and frequent climate change consequences in recent times. The drought in Angola and Namibia, flooding in India and hurricane Sandy in the United States shows that it is the poor and the vulnerable who are disproportionality affected by extreme weather events. For this reason the LWF delegation at the COP 19 has decided to join Saño in the fasting.

LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge and President Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan along with vice-presidents from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America are joining the action on 15 November. The LWF is inviting member churches to participate in this initiative to fast for one day during the course of the conference in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable adversely affected by extreme weather events, and to call for a meaningful outcome to the climate change negotiations.

On 15 November, Bishop Jerzy Samiec of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland sent a message to all 70,000 members of his church, to be read during Sunday service, and saying that he, and the members of his staff, are also all fasting on Sunday.


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Members of the LWF COP19 delegation include:

  • Ms Pranita Biswasi, Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church-United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India
  • Ms Raquel Kleber, Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil
  • Mr Martin Kopp, Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine
  • Ms Matilda Mattson, Church of Sweden, 
  • Ms Rose Stephens-Booker, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Mr Piotrek Sztwiertnia, Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland
  • Mr Elija Zina, Lutheran Church in Liberia, LWF Council member

The delegation is accompanied by Ms Caroline Richter, LWF Youth Secretary.