'We must eat, travel, spend, invest and live differently'

FaithInvest welcomes the joint statement from Pope Francis, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and Ecumentical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople calling for radical change and 'meaningful sacrifices' in the way we live, work and use money for the sake of the earth and the world's poorest peoples.


This is the first time the three church leaders have come together to call for bold action on climate change, which they describe as 'not only a future challenge, but an immediate and urgent matter of survival'.


As nations prepare to come together at COP26, the UN climate conference, in November, the three church leaders called upon everyone, whatever their belief or worldview, to 'listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor'.


We all bear individual responsibility for how we use the planet's resources and must make 'meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us', they said in their joint statement.


But governments, business leaders and investors had extra responsibilities, they added: 'To those heading administrations, running companies, employing people or investing funds, we say: choose people-centred profits; make short-term sacrifices to safeguard all our futures; become leaders in the transition to just and sustainable economies.'


FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer paid tribute to the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first faith leader to recognise the scale of the environmental challenge in the early 1990s, and to call for real action by faiths.


He added: 'The Pope's 2015 Laudato Si' encyclical has galvanised the Catholic Church and led to initiatives such as the Laudato Si' Movement which focuses the energy and commitment of young people around the world.


'All three leaders have agreed that words are not enough and that we, as the faiths, should increase the scale of our actions. That's why Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox organisations are in the forefront of our Faith Plans for People and Planet programme, alongside all the other major faiths, in a unique and massive push to turn nice ideas into real action.'


The three church leaders also called for 'ever-closer collaboration' among all churches in their 'commitment to care for creation', adding that we must decide what kind of world we want to leave to future generations.


'For their sake, we must choose to eat, travel, spend, invest and live differently, thinking not only of immediate interest and gains but also of future benefits,' they said.


As Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said in their joint statement: 'This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.'