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Banner: Church of Scotland

Youth Column: 'We Love Our Neighbour - And We Demand Change'

Monday November 8 2021

Rachel Walker highlights the work of the Christian Aid Prophetic Activists during COP26


The Prophetic Activist Scheme run by Christian Aid is now in its second year. The scheme, designed to inspire engage and equip young Christians, provides workshops, training, conferences and to put their faith into action.

The aim of the Prophetic Activist Scheme is to support young people to co-create a climate justice campaign. It’s a great opportunity to meet, learn from and campaign alongside inspiring young Christians working towards a common goal.

During 2020, the Prophetic Activists led an award-winning campaign which called on the government to stop funding fossil fuels and to end fossil fuel extraction.

With the arrival of COP26 to Glasgow this year, it is vital we all use our voices to strive for a more just world. As Christians, it is not just our responsibility to treat people well because that is the nice thing to do. But the commandments given to Moses and the rules Jesus laid out for his followers throughout the gospels inspire us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.

The poorest 3.5 billion people are responsible for just ten percent of world emissions. But these people - predominantly located in the global south - are already facing the worst impacts of climate change. In 2016, world hunger increased for the first time in more than a decade. Now, in 2020, more than 41 million people are teetering on the brink of famine caused by conflict and climate change. Yet, as Christians we are called to look after the poorest people in our communities, and in the world.

As world leaders come together at COP26 in Glasgow to discuss and agree actions to be taken for climate justice, we see chaos all around. Global temperatures are soaring, unusual weather and droughts are affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the globe and compounding the devastation being felt by those hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our world is at a crisis point. 

We love our neighbour – and we demand change.

Project Climate Finance strives to make all climate finance pledges legally binding figures, with a clear actionable repercussion system if figures are not met. Climate Finance is money used to reduce emissions and to support communities and businesses as they adjust to the adverse effects of a changing climate. The money can be provided on a local, national, or transnational level and can come from public, private, or alternative sources of finance. We are calling on the UK government to provide a legal guarantee for their promised £100 billion, or larger sum should the funding increase, with actionable repercussions if not provided.

There are lots of ways you might be able to get involved in the campaign for Climate Justice, for example write to your elected representative or join Church of Scotland’s Prayer for the World. You can sign the Prophetic Activists Project Climate Finance petition, join Christian Aid’s campaign to make a prayer boat to send to COP26 at www.christianaid.org.uk/pray/prayer-chain , supporting Tearfund’s Reboot campaign at www.tearfund.org/campaigns/reboot-campaign and continue to ask your community to do their bit (and help them out along the way!).


If you are under 30 and involved in the Church of Scotland, and would like to write this column, please get in touch on magazine@lifeandwork.org 


Read more about COP26 and how the churches are responding in Life and Work’s free digital supplement.

Read the latest news from COP26 here

November's Life and Work has further coverage of COP26 and an interview with climate pilgrimage organiser Jen Morris. Download or subscribe here.