Listen: Tearfund advocacy director Jo Knight talks to Laura Bennett about their Christians Together for Climate campaign
When it comes to the big-ticket issues of our time, climate change is increasingly at the top of list of phenomena to be addressed, studied and debated.
In the political argy-bargy and scientific forecasting that circulates around the topic, global aid organisation Tearfund is encouraging Christians to bring awareness to the vulnerable communities affected by shifting environmental conditions, and ask world leaders to take a justice-minded approach in developing solutions.
During the recent COP26 summit, Tearfund launched its Christians Together for Climate campaign, and advocacy director Jo Knight told Hope 103.2, “We’re wanting to bring together Christians from around Australia who are really want to speak up from the perspective of their Christian faith after reflecting on the climate crisis”.
“When you are a person in poverty, you rely on the creation around you – perhaps more so than some of us who are living in high-consumer urban city environments,” Jo said.
“So when the rains come too little or too late your crops fail, and you’re relying on that subsistence farming to survive.
“We’re seeing a rise in a crisis of hunger, as the weather is just out of balance. The change in climate is making the impact on people in poverty the most extreme.”
“We’re seeing a rise in a crisis of hunger, as the weather is just out of balance,” – Tearfund advocacy director Jo Knight
Where the social justice aspect comes into play, is in the fact that “while people who are poor are hit first and foremost”, Jo said, “they are actually the least responsible for the damage being caused”.
“It’s people in our own context, who are consuming more than our fair share of the earth’s resources,” she said.
“When Christians in Australia get this conversation going and share the stories of what’s going on around the world – particularly in the poorest parts of the world – that seems to cut to the heart [of the issue] and other people say, ‘Wow, that’s my global neighbour’.
“[They] want to lament their partial responsibility and ask how they can use their voice to speak up to local politicians who have some power to do something about it.”
Find out more about Tearfund’s Christians Together for Climate campaign.
Listen to Jo Knight’s full conversation with Laura Bennett in the player above.