LWF welcomes Pope’s encouragement to tackle climate change

Members of the LWF Global Young Reformers' Network in Africa, plant a tree during a May 2015 visit to Majengo Lutheran Parish in Moshi, Tanzania. Photo: LWF/Allison Westerhoff
Members of the LWF Global Young Reformers' Network in Africa, plant a tree during a May 2015 visit to Majengo Lutheran Parish in Moshi, Tanzania. Photo: LWF/Allison Westerhoff

General Secretary Junge: Escalating impact on the poor makes advocacy urgent

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has welcomed Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’ — On Care for Our Common Home”, as an encouragement for all those struggling for climate justice.

LWF General Secretary Rev. Martin Junge said the encyclical “encourages every person living on this planet to collaborate in urgently protecting our common home. As the LWF, we are encouraged to continue upholding a special commitment to both address and tackle climate change. We look forward to enhanced ecumenical collaboration on this vital issue that concerns us all.”

Published by the Vatican today, the encyclical by the head of the global Roman Catholic Church calls for an ethical, spiritual and economic revolution to prevent catastrophic climate change and halt the growing inequality in the world.

“We welcome Pope Francis’ emphasis on the intimate togetherness of caring for the planet and caring for the poor and future generations,” Junge said. “We have to read the encyclical attentively in order to identify the common ground in view of our current engagement on issues of climate change,” he added.

The LWF has committed to focus on reducing the impact of climate change as a matter of social, economic and eco-justice responsibility. Many of the LWF member churches have experienced the consequences of increasing and frequent climate change that disproportionately hit vulnerable communities. The LWF also emphasizes care for creation as a matter of intergenerational justice.

LWF youth delegates lead the organization’s advocacy on this issue under the global “Fast for the Climate” campaign, and represent the LWF in the United Nations (UN) climate change conferences. Climate justice is a focus of the Lutheran communion’s commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, illustrated by one of the event’s sub-themes “Creation - not for sale.”

As part of its commitment to the stewardship of creation, the LWF is working towards becoming carbon neutral by 2050. It engages its respective departments in initiatives that contribute to the reductions of carbon emissions. Many of the member churches have made similar efforts.

The LWF will participate in the 30 November - 11 December Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris.