Churches called to take part in climate change cocoa challenge

By agency reporter
September 14, 2009

With less than 100 days to go until the biggest climate change summit in history, Christians across the UK are being called on to take part in a ‘climate change cocoa challenge’ as a way of urging the UK and other governments to prioritise action on water in poor countries at the Copenhagen climate negotiations this December.

The international development charity, Progressio, is asking people to join its 1950s-themed Just Add Water campaign by serving cocoa as well as tea after church on 25 October as part of the ‘climate change cocoa challenge’, which concludes with filling out an action card to send to British MPs, six weeks before the start of the vital summit.

Progressio’s Campaigns Officer, Brie O’Keefe said: “The climate change cocoa challenge is a fun way for church members to respond together, or individuals to gather friends and family at any time that weekend to enjoy a cup of cocoa and help raise the voice and concerns of the world’s poor.”

The challenge – which involves mixing up a “recipe for disaster”; a dry cup of cocoa to highlight that water is the missing ingredient in the climate talks – is part of Progressio’s 1950s-themed Just Add Water campaign. The campaign urges decision makers not to forget the importance of water as they thrash out the next phase of the world’s climate treaty.

Progressio’s environmental policy officer, Petra Kjell said: “Changes in rainfall and weather patterns as a result of climate change are already affecting millions of poor people worldwide who depend on small-scale farming for food. For the world’s poor, 70 per cent of whom are small-holders, drought, torrential downpours and extreme storms are no joke. In the scramble to stop the causes of climate change, world leaders must remember to deal with its effects too.”

Carlos Ruiz, a small-scale farmer from the village of El Cristal in Ecuador, who feeds his entire family from his backyard plot said: “The seasons used to be much more regular but now everything has totally changed. You don’t know when it’s going to rain; it’s cold when it should be hot.”

He continued: “We are having to learn how to cope with the new climate – we must think ahead and make sure we are prepared.”

The Just Add Water campaign was officially launched at the Forum 3 recruitment fair in London last Friday. Hundreds of people have already filled out Just Add Water postcards urging MPs to raise the issue of water and climate change with the UK’s Secretary of State for the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband. The Department for Energy and Climate Change is negotiating the Copenhagen deal on behalf of the UK government.

Progressio is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities.

A free fair-trade cocoa making pack is available from Progressio by emailing

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.