Our actions affect the environment, they affect our everyday lives, and the lives of others.
The insurance industry is clear that climate-related disasters have multiplied in their combined frequency and severity.
Heat waves, droughts, wild fires
Since 2014, every year many countries the world over have suffered record-breaking temperatures and droughts. In many cases these were accompanied by wild fires and even ‘firenadoes’ – tornadoes of fire!
Wild fires have hit the UK in Lancashire, Yorkshire, in Scotland and even in London. But these were much less severe than those we have seen on the news constantly since 2020, in Australia, California and southern Europe. Forest fires in Siberia are less often reported, yet they are on a vaster scale than any of the others.
Storms and flooding
The UK has suffered from storms and flooding especially in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2020 and 2021! It’s happening most years now.
But others get it much worse than we do. The United States and Australia, Germany and Belgium have seen massive flooding in recent years. In 2013, rivers in Germany and Hungary, including the Danube, flooded to their greatest level in history. The Mississippi/Missouri river system cut the US into two halves in the unprecedented flooding of summer 2019. Belgium and north-west Germany saw appalling flooding in 2021, China in 2023.
Yet the effect of flooding is felt most acutely in the developing world. Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines and Mozambique are also among the many countries sustaining massive flooding. Mozambique was hit in May 2019 by two devastating cyclones and resulting flooding.
The poor and vulnerable are least able to adapt and recover. For them, the damage they suffer adds to other natural disasters – including earthquakes and tsunamis which are understood as natural not climate-related nor human in origin.
Why is this our responsibility? Because the UK is still a net exporter of the carbon emissions (CO2e) which cause global heating and climate change. On average, each UK person is responsible for 6 tonnes of CO2e per year. The proportion of the world’s emissions attributable to the UK is reducing. But on average, our emissions still spill over into the rest of the world, more than theirs enter our airspace.
And because the developed nations have more political and economic influence, more choices, more capacity to help others.
When disaster strikes, wherever that may be, let’s be ready to help meet the needs of those afflicted by it.
This page introduces a wide range of programmes, connections and ideas – plenty and more for most churches to engage.
There are nearly 490 churches in the Diocese of London. Many have UKME congregations with strong family links to other countries and continents. Together our global reach can be very broad!
Angola London Mozambique Association (ALMA)
Our global reach is brought into focus by ALMA (Angola London Mozambique Association), our diocesan link with the dioceses in Angola and Mozambique, where the experience of climate change is a daily reality.
We want ever more of our churches and people to support ALMA and the effort to partner in bringing relief to communities on which climate change inflicts such disasters. We think every Eco Church in London needs to engage with ALMA.
The United Nations addresses many issues concerning the environment and sustainability.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015:
- No poverty
- Zero hunger
- Good health and well-being
- Quality education
- Gender equality
- Clean water and sanitation
- Affordable and clean energy
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Reduced inequalities
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Responsible consumption and production
- Climate action
- Life below water
- Life on land
- Peace, justice and strong institutions
- Partnerships for the goals.
Some of these aims compete with each other. It is not easy to strike a balance. But that is no excuse for failing to challenge those vested interests and injustices which work against delivering life’s essentials to everyone.
Has your church signed up to Eco Church yet? Eco Church can help every church and congregation to embed environmental issues in their worldwide concern and action, as well as in the life of their own parish.
The Diocese of London is a Fairtrade diocese.
Fairtrade and the environment challenges we face are closely linked, especially in regard to food and drink.
Christian relief agencies
Christian Aid is an agency of our churches in Britain and Ireland, mandated to work on relief, development and advocacy for poverty eradication.
Christian Aid’s work is founded on Christian faith, inspired by hope. It acts to change an unjust world through charity – practical love and care for our neighbours.
Tearfund is a Christian international aid and development agency working globally to end poverty and injustice, and to restore dignity and hope in some of the world’s poorest communities.
Tearfund’s work on climate change includes:
- Campaigning to convince world leaders to take drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Helping poor countries adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change.
Head of Environment and Sustainability
ALMA and the environment
A World in Crisis
A Commonwealth of Compassion.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
UN Development Programme (UNDP)
Sustainable Development Goals
UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
A Rocha UK
A Rocha International.
Food and drink.
Anglican Communion Environmental Network
Environment and Sustainability, front page.