LUTHERAN World Federation (LWF) General Secretary, the Rev Dr Anne Burghardt, has joined with the heads of other global Christian organisations in urging G20 leaders to commit to a New International Financial and Economic Architecture (NIFEA) that can foster “just, peace-loving and flourishing societies.” This architecture is indispensable, they say, to respond to climate change, growing poverty and democratic degeneration.

In a letter to G20 leaders, who will be meeting in New Delhi, India, from 9 to 10 September, Burghardt and the heads of the World Council of Churches, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Methodist Council and the Council for World Mission, note that “we live in a world where “the logic of profit” has taken precedence over well-being or “social and ecological life.”

Noting the theme of G20 summit, ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’, they say that “nature and the environment have been reduced to an ‘asset class’ for financial gain and the earth is treated as a tap and a sink.” At the same time, they continue, “the politics of money that systematically favours the wealthy over the poor has generated immense inequality [….] eroding social cohesion and undermining trust in democratic institutions.”

The letter calls on leaders of the world’s richest nations to promote the formation of a new economic system which includes an international tax convention, as well as the introduction of carbon and pollution taxes to halt “runaway climate change and unprecedented biodiversity loss.”

Other urgently needed measures, called for by the religious leaders, include releasing developing countries from onerous external debts, as well as guaranteeing labour rights and a living wage for all workers. In particular, the letter calls for recognition of “unremunerated care work done predominantly by women”, as well as increased access for women and girls to education, training and health care.

The letter concludes with an appeal to G20 leaders “to place vulnerable communities and the planet at the heart of your deliberations,” so that the outcome of their summit can contribute towards the restoration of the earth, the well-being of the entire human family and “the safeguarding of our children’s future.”

* Read the Church leaders’ letter here.

* Source: Lutheran World Federation