The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) estimates that 44% of its constituency or 33 million people are living in the countries facing the greatest ecological challenges requiring urgent action.
“The [climate] crisis is real,” LWF General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, said at an online event on faith, science and climate change set up by the group to assemble faith and political leaders. His message was that this year is crucial. “The world must use the momentum for climate action,” he said.
“Faith and Science: towards COP26” was one of a series of meetings that brought together from faith communities and faith-based organizations committed to working against the adverse effects of climate change to share approaches and jointly prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which are slated for early November in Glasgow, U.K. The meetings are convened by the British and Italian Embassies to the Holy See, together with the Holy See.
The Lutheran Church has long sought to address climate change globally through ecumenical leadership. In 2019, in a renewal of a 2013 statement, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Church of Sweden and The Episcopal Church issued a joint statement highlighting a commitment to work together to advocate for national and international policies that address the urgency of the climate crisis.
Junge in his statement pointed to the Lutheran tradition of “sustaining just relationships in our world, including ecological relationships, requires constructive ethical dialogue between the sciences: natural, social, and theological.” The LWF’s moves includes divestment from fossil fuels in 2015. The 2017 LWF Assembly in Namibia, passed a resolution on climate change that called on member churches to address the impacts of climate change.
He stressed LWF’s commitment to support people and communities affected by extreme weather events and other climate-related disasters through the federation’s humanitarian and development work. The group also plans to be an active participant in local and global efforts towards climate justice through its advocacy and public voice. The LWF is also committed to further theological work towards eco-theology and care for creation with an interdisciplinary perspective, to build a strong foundation for its ongoing work on climate change and care for creation.