Climate justice is a key part of USPG’s mission.
The climate strikes are being led by students who have been at the forefront of non-violent direct action for climate justice in the UK. They are seeking greater ambition in emission reduction targets and tangible action to make this happen. In September, to coincide with the UN emergency climate summit, students are asking for adults to stand with them in solidarity.
USPG stands in solidarity with these students and our global partners who are most affected by the economic and political systems that exploit people and planet for profit. The climate and ecological crisis is regularly identified as the challenge of our generation. It is not a distant challenge but a lived reality.
USPG Church partners (including the Churches in Britain and Ireland) already face increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events; increased drought and flood events; greater water and food insecurity; enhanced spread of diseases; increased conflict from competition over resources, and greater climate-induced migration.
Disasters such as the fires in the Amazon; the inundation of low lying islands in Polynesia causing displacement due to sea level rise, and the increase in severity of natural disasters including the recent hurricane in the Bahamas (Dorian) and cyclone in southern Africa (Idai) give us a small glimpse into the wide-ranging and catastrophic impacts of ecological injustice and climate change. Here in the UK (and Europe) we are seeing an increase in floods, droughts, storms and the regularity and severity of summer heatwaves, extreme enough to wipe out entire crops.
For too long the fifth mark of mission, ‘to safeguard the integrity of creation and to renew and sustain life on earth’ has been seen by many in the UK as a periphery issue. In Rethinking Mission, USPG looks to ensure that restoring and renewing relationships between God, people and the whole of creation is considered as we rethink mission. Action on climate change is a way in which faith and action can go hand-in-hand.
Within the UK the student strike movement has created a community of hope and resistance to climate change and USPG will stand with them as they continue in this task.
USPG’s partners in at least six countries will also be taking part in these global strikes and we encourage you to join, wherever you can.
USPG will be joining people across the globe to demand transformative action to address the climate crisis, standing in solidarity with the students who continue to bring this issue to our attention. We also stand in solidarity with our global partners who are most affected by the economic and political systems that exploit people and planet for profit.
We will begin the day with a briefing for volunteers, trustees, staff and friends in the USPG chapel at 9:30am followed by a time for prayer, reflection and worship at 10am.
We will then join the general strike. At 4pm we will meet with the UK Student Climate Network and the Faith for the Climate Network where prayers will be offered in Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions.
If you are planning to join us or would like to know more then please do get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org