A group of young Christians from across Cornwall are urging their peers to sign an open letter to world leaders demanding climate justice ahead of the G7 Summit.
Leading up to the Cornwall summit on 11th-13th June, the young people are aiming to generate 1,000 signatures to gather as much public interest as they can. They have intentions of reaching 5,000 names by the COP26 climate change conference in November.
The open letter, exclusively written by young people aged between 11 and 19, calls on the world’s most powerful leaders to cut CO2 emissions to zero, end funding of fossil fuels, and support the world’s poorest communities that have been affected by climate change.
A UN Development Programme (UNDP) poll, in January, found that two-thirds of people think climate change is a ‘global emergency’, with 69% of young people aged 14 to 18 showing the greatest concern. Moreover, a Tearfund UK poll this year, concluded that nine out of ten Christian teenagers were not only concerned about climate change, but wanted to take action to do something about it.
Georgia Allen, one of the young people involved in writing the open letter, said: “This project has personally been of pivotal importance, as it has allowed myself and other young generation individuals to stand up and vocalise our disappointment towards the lack of leadership and actions from world leaders to act sincerely and effectively to halt climate change. It has also provided us with a platform from which to prompt leaders that, as a generation, we will not accept inadequate and ineffectual actions.”
The youngsters from across Cornwall are being supported in their campaign by churches and charities including, Tearfund and CreationFest.
The Rt Rev Hugh Nelson, Bishop of St Germans, said: “It has been a privilege listening in as this group of young Christians from Cornwall have shared their hopes and fears for creation care, and have become such a strong and faith-filled voice for change.”
A one-and-a-half-mile prayer walk during the week of the G7 is being planned by the group, to further highlight the action the world leaders need to take in limiting the rise of global temperatures by 1.5 degrees. At the end of the walk they will pray for churches, leaders, and those affected by climate change. While the faith of the young people is inspiring them to take a stand for justice, any young person or adult, of Christian faith or none, can add their signature to the letter.