Phase 3 - taking the lambeth calls forward and involving the communion

Add your Voice to the Call: The Environment and Sustainable Development

Important themes in the Lambeth Call on the Environment and Sustainable Development

The Lambeth Call on the Environment and Sustainable Development was shared by Anglican bishops at the Lambeth Conference. By taking the Lambeth Call forward, Anglicans can play their part in responding to environmental crises. Here are some of the themes in the Lambeth Call.

  • The Anglican Communion is a connected body. We are local. We are global.
  • We are impacted by environmental crisis. We contribute to the problem and we can contribute to the solution.
  • The Five Marks of Mission call us to share Good News and express our concern for people and planet.
  • Acting together, we can protect, restore and safeguard the environment.
  • For ourselves and for future generations, we need to act now, urgently and at scale.

Ways to Respond to the Lambeth Call

AWARENESS: Explore the Lambeth Call on Environment and Sustainable Development

Explore: The Lambeth Call on the Environment and Sustainable Development provides a theological rationale for why creation care is a global mission imperative. It also outlines some bold commitments in tackling environmental crisis, including just financing, community resilience building, advocacy, biodiversity restoration and promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Act: There’s a lot to unpack in this Lambeth Call. Read through the different calls for action. Take time to work through it to see what you can take forward in your setting.

ATTITUDE: Reflect and think about what it means to have a theology of creation care

Explore: The Lambeth Call says that “Humanity needs a spiritual and cultural transformation. We must…transform our mindset away from exploitation of the natural world to one of relationship and stewardship.”

Act: How we think theologically about the environment matters. People and planet are connected. Loving our neighbour means loving the neighbourhood. As you explore the Lambeth Call, access Bible Study and learning materials, to help you explore a theology of creation care. A range of resources are available.

ACTION: Grow The Communion Forest, make a global impact through local action

Explore: The Lambeth Call says: "We are connected with one another. We can leverage our networks and mobilise for action".

It invites Anglicans to join the Communion Forest initiative. The Communion Forest is a global initiative and act of hope, shared by Anglicans. It was launched at the Lambeth Conference.
The Communion Forest both celebrates and calls for joint action by Anglicans in response to environmental crises. From environmental protection, restoration and renewal, the idea is that Anglicans’ activities at the grass roots grow into a virtual forest to make a big impact on a global scale.

Working with other Anglican environmental networks, The Communion Forest shares projects, inspiration, and resources from around the Communion, to strengthen Anglicans in creation care activities.
Act: Find out more about the Anglican Communion Forest. Share what your church is already doing. Access resources to inspire your thinking. Develop new initiatives and involve your community. 

ADVOCACY: Mobilise and make your voice heard

Explore: The Lambeth Call talks about The Anglican Communion as “a connected body with a shared identity that transcends national borders and brings a distinct perspective. By connecting with one another, sharing our experiences and leveraging our networks we can mobilise for action. “

It also invites us to: “Challenge the unjust structures that perpetuate global economic and political systems driving injustice, inequality and instability.”

Act: There are several ways that Anglicans are involved in advocacy about the Environmental Crisis. In 2023, an Anglican delegation will attend COP28, to represent how Anglicans worldwide are impacted by environmental issues and seek more urgent action at scale from governments, faith communities and major companies. Strengthen the influence this has, by meeting with government and decision makers in your setting to share experiences from across the Communion and key messages for change. You can find out more through the Anglican Communion UN Team. 

Why it matters: the World is Facing Environmental Crisis

The world is facing multiple connected crises: extreme poverty, inequality, injustice and the triple environmental crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. Bishops at the Lambeth Conference developed this Lambeth Call in response to these crises.

The environmental crises is an existential threat to people and planet. Disasters, such as drought, sea level rise, catastrophic flooding and wildfires, are taking lives, destroying habitats, devastating livelihoods, causing food shortages, forcing migration, disrupting communities and breaking up families. The impacts of the crises are costly, both financially and in terms of the trauma they create.

Young people are fearful and anxious about Environmental Crisis: A 2021 survey of 10,000 children and young people (aged 16–25 years) in ten countries found [1]:

  • 59% were very or extremely worried about climate change.
  • 75% said that they think the future is frightening.

The UN Secretary General has warned that climate crisis is a “code red for humanity”. It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 C. Drastic action is needed in the next three years to bring down greenhouse gas emissions to achieve net zero targets. [2]

Churches have a vital part to play in responding to these crises. Gus Speth, former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and Chair of the UN Development Group, said “I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy… to deal with those issues we need a spiritual and cultural transformation – and we scientists do not know how to do that.” [3]

[1] Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey.
[2] UN Secretary - Code Red for Humanity.
[3] Quote attributed to Gus Speth (Former dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale) in 'Reflections' from Yale Divinity School.

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