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Shrinking the Footprint: An interconnected world

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Our actions affect the environment, they affect our everyday lives, and the lives of others.

Climate change

Figures from Munich Re, the world’s biggest re-insurers, show how climate-related disasters have multiplied in their combined frequency and severity.

The insurance industry is clear that the risks from climate change have multiplied. They should know: they lose money if they make wrong calls!

Heat waves, droughts, wild fires

Many countries the world over suffered record-breaking temperatures and droughts in 2018. In many cases these were accompanied by wild fires and even ‘firenadoes’ – tornadoes of fire!

Wild fires have hit the UK in Lancashire, Yorkshire and even in Scotland.

Storms and flooding

The UK has suffered from storms and flooding especially in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. It’s happening most years now. The United States and Australia 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 is cutting the US into two halves in the unprecedented flooding of summer 2019.

But others get it much worse than we do – 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.

Our responsibility

Why is this our responsibility? Because the UK is still a net exporter of CO2 into other peoples’ air. We generate 2% of the world’s emissions from less than 1% of the population. 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 480 churches in the Diocese of London. 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.

See ALMA and the environment.

Route around the World

The event of this name took place at St George’s Bloomsbury in March 2012.

Route around the World expresses our global conscience and responsibilities towards our neighbour – whoever needs our concern and help, wherever in the world she or he may be – due to the effects of environmental degradation and especially climate change.

See A world in crisis.

The United Nations

The United Nations addresses many issues concerning the environment and sustainability, through its:

Sustainable Development Goals

These 17 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.

See UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Commonwealth of Compassion

This was the subject of a workshop during Climate Week 2011, in association with the Diocese of Southwark. The subject was preparedness for, mitigation of and resilience to environmental disasters.

This article by Brian Cuthbertson was published by the Church Times.

Eco Church

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. Eco Church is supported by A Rocha UK.

A Rocha is an international Christian environmental and nature conservation movement. A Rocha International was founded in Portugal.


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.

Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN)

The Anglican Communion Environmental Network links the environmental campaigns of national churches within the Anglican Communion.

Christian Aid

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.

To find out more

Contact the Head of Environment and Sustainability.

External links

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