“And a child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). Standing in solidarity with young people striking for the climate.

20 September 2019

We stand in solidarity with all taking part in the climate strike today. The numbers are extraordinary. And we echo the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who earlier today tweeted, “It’s inspiring to see young people so passionate about protecting God’s creation and calling our attention to the #ClimateEmergency. Thank you for showing us where our priorities should be.” We are inspired by, and grateful to, Greta Thunberg, the now 16 year old, who initiated this prophetic movement.

Here we share some perspectives on the climate emergency from across the world, provided by the Anglican Alliance’s regional facilitators. The first comes Tagolyn Kabekabe in the Pacific. Following on are views from the Middle East, Africa and South America.

A view from the Pacific – Tagolyn Kabekabe, Anglican Alliance facilitator for the Pacific

The Pacific is one of the regions of the world bearing the brunt of climate change – seen, among other ways, in rising sea levels, the salination of soil and more violent weather patterns. Here, Tagolyn describes the current unpredictable rain pattern her home country of the Solomon Islands is experiencing.

“Since the beginning of this month there has been continuous rainfall again that has resulted in loss of lives and properties in two provinces within the country. In my own home town Gizo, in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands, it rained non-stop for almost two weeks (a record in the history of the town) resulting in landslides and soil erosion. The landslide buried state correctional properties resulting in the death of a woman who was buried alive. Her daughter, who was rescued in time, was hospitalized along with her father and brothers. In Malaita in the same week, a young woman drowned in the river swollen by heavy flooding due to continuous rain. These unpredictable rainfalls started early this year and continue in the country”.

What would you most want to say to others across the world right now about climate change from where you are?

From the Pacific Region, where countries contribute least to climate change and yet suffer the most, we demand the following;

  1. Climate Action Now!
  2. Stop Burning our Future! Phase out COAL POWER
  3. Put an end to FOSSIL fuel development

Remember: there is NO Planet B; we either act now or swim later!

Are there any climate strikes happening in your region?

The Solomon Islands Climate Action Network has today held a programme of events to acknowledge the climate crisis both in the country and across the world, and “to urge the Solomon Islands Government to advocate for our peoples, cultures and livelihoods at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly Climate Summit”.

A climate change prayer from the Pacific

Lord, tiny as we are in our islands in this vast ocean, we praise and honour you for the beauty of your creation including us, sinners.

We ask your forgiveness for the many ways that we have failed to maintain and sustain your world, our beautiful home.

We pray and ask that you give us new vision, hearts, minds, hands & feet that proactively seek to safeguard your creation, our home.

Lord God, remove the greed from our hearts that destroys your creation and put in us pure and abiding hearts that love and care for others and your wonderful world. Amen


A view from the Middle East – Joel Kelling, Anglican Alliance facilitator for the Middle East

What are the main ways that climate change is affecting your region?

  1. Increasing extreme temperatures in the region, with predictions of areas of Iraq having up to 200 “unusually hot days” by the end of the century with temperatures over 50 degrees C at midday.
  2. Increased desertification, leading to decreased arable land (particularly along the Nile and Tigris/Euphrates) and increasing sand storms.
  3. Increasing water shortages across the region, with long term depletion of the regions Aquifers and a reliance on desalinisation.
  4. (Future risk) – Sea level rise, threatening the coastal cities of the Mediterranean in particular.

What would you most want to say to others across the world right now about climate change from where you are?

If we don’t halt or reverse climate change, we are going to see climate displacement in numbers exceeding those displaced by current conflicts, and water and food conflict will increase in a region already politically volatile.

Are there any climate strikes happening in your region?

In Jordan, a week of activities is underway for the Global Climate Strike Week, organised by Jadal for Knowledge and Culture. “Together we will carry out strikes and events to draw attention to the climate crisis and will call for the end of fossils fuel and for the prevention of the sixth extinction”. The events include a ‘Prayerformance for Mother Earth’, a photo exhibition and talks as well as the strike on Sunday. (see here) 

Jadal for Knowledge and Culture write, “Most of life forms on Earth, including the next generation, are facing a ghost that brings on almost certain disasters, amid horrific denial and ignorance. Seeing the failure of policy makers globally and regionally to take responsibility and respond to the climate crisis, we protest and object a world turned upside down and an economic system based on the exploitation of the planet’s natural resources and the human for the sake of profit, and a way of life that goes against the laws of nature”.


A view from Africa – Nicholas Pande, Programmes Officer, Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa

What are the main ways that climate change is affecting your region?

  1. Unpredictable weather patterns. Rainfall onset and cessations have significantly changed with onset coming late and cessations coming early, making it difficult for most traditional crops to grow to maturity.
  2. Rising sea levels. Water levels of oceans and lakes have risen, affecting small islands.
  3. Prolonged drought – many parts of the continent, especially arid and semi-arid areas, have experienced prolonged droughts causing famine and other disasters among communities living in such areas.
  4. Increased pest infestation and disease prevalence. Increased temperatures and prolonged warm weather have made it possible for more pests to inhabit the tropics and cause more diseases.
  5. Floods and cyclones. The southern Africa region recently experienced the worst tropical cyclone in history while the rest of the countries also experience floods, higher in magnitude than before. There have been many lives lost through these.

What would you most want to say to others across the world right now about climate change from where you are?

  • We are contributing the least to the greenhouse gases but suffering the most from the impacts of climate change.
  • We demand action on climate change and government commitments to keep the average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.
  • Adopt and mainstream climate change curriculum in schools and colleges
  • Mother Earth is very unforgiving, let’s tend her very carefully.

Are there any climate strikes happening in your region?

The African Climate Alliance in South Africa has organized a climate strike in Cape Town outside parliament on Friday 20th September.


A view from South America – Paulo Ueti, Anglican Alliance Theological Adviser and Latin America Regional Director

What are the main ways that climate change is affecting your region?

Climate change is provoking extreme dry season in some regions, affecting the capacity of people to endure heat and cold, shrinking ecosystems completely, and creating a shortage of water in many parts of the country, including the Amazon. The instability of the weather lately is also affecting the production of food, leading to poverty and scarcity.

What would you most want to say to others across the world right now about climate change from where you are?

  • Get more involved in the [Paris] climate accords and with the protection of the environment.
  • Make Christian communities more aware about the issue and more involved.
  • Raise consciousness and provide training so people become more intentional on advocacy and protesting.

Are there any climate strikes happening in your region?

Yes, in at least 15 capitals there will be movements and many churches are involved.


The Anglican Alliance connects, equips and inspires the worldwide Anglican family to work for a world free of poverty and injustice and to safeguard creation. Climate change is a major factor driving poverty and migration, as well as having severe detrimental impacts on the environment. The Anglican Alliance provides a convening platform for Anglican churches and agencies to work together in the aftermath of disasters, many of which are climate related. Helping build resilience to disasters and building partnerships for response and resilience is an increasingly important part of our work. See here. Please also see our prayer and worship section and our Season of Creation post. Our report of the Lambeth roundtable on climate change and migration is a rich source of stories and information.