On Ash Wednesday, Progressio was delighted to add its name to a call to the Church to reflect, pray and act on climate change and environmental degradation in our world.
Entitled Climate change and the purposes of God: a call to the Church, the declaration has been signed by senior church leaders including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and was organised by Operation Noah, the Christian environmental campaigning organisation.
When we were approached by Operation Noah to support the declaration, we were delighted to agree. We know from our work around the world just how critical the natural environment is to the lives and livelihoods of the people that Progressio is working with – that’s why we regularly encourage supporters to campaign on these issues.
Despite the fact that damage to our natural environment is happening dangerously fast, with climate change in particular posing a threat to poor communities around the world, action is sluggish, with government negotiations on climate change and environmental protection too often failing to deliver the concerted action needed.
So the declaration challenges churches and Christians to challenge the “shrug culture” that exists on climate change, to take action, to raise our voices for the protection of God’s world. In the creation story described in Genesis, humanity is given responsibility for the care of the earth and its creatures. Care for the earth is not an optional extra, but core to the Christian faith.
* You can read the declaration in full, and find out more about the initiative, at the Operation Noah website - http://www.operationnoah.org/read-the-declaration 
(c) Tim Aldred is Head of Policy and Communications for Progressio. http://www.progressio.org.uk/