Tearfund Australia is leading a volunteer advocacy of concerned Christians to lobby their local MP or state senator for urgent action on climate change.
Christians Together for Climate is an advocacy campaign being led by international aid agency Tearfund Australia. The project is a grassroots, volunteer-based campaign that aims to galvanise concerned Christians to lobby their local MP or state senator for urgent action on climate change
Based on extensive research, the campaign has been rolled-out in partnership with Common Grace, across 27 diverse electorates around the country.
The groups are positioned in conservative electorates in north and western Queensland, to more progressive electorates in inner-city suburbs. The campaign is non-partisan and is aimed purely to amplify the voice of concerned Christians to MPs through local events, targeted social media/media engagement, education and training events and MP meetings.
These have included using creative engagement strategies including:
- Students on Brisbane’s southside creating Tik Toks to express their views on climate change and need for climate action
- A group in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains hosting an online forum exploring a Christian response to climate change.
- An inner Melbourne group hosting a Climate Lament Service.
- A regional Queensland group hosting a sustainability workshop.
Jo Knight, Tearfund Director of Advocacy said, “The campaign started in mid 2020 and is divided into two parts. Lobbying MPs in the lead up to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow and then lobby MPs in the lead up to the federal election. To date, many of the groups have managed to secure an MP meeting.”
For some groups this has been a protracted process. For example, one group in outer Sydney have been trying for several months to secure a meeting with Federal Emissions Reduction Minister, Angus Taylor. The group were promised a meeting in April, but it is yet to happen. They are currently making mini documentaries featuring what they would like to tell Minister Taylor. Their personal appeals will be aired on social media during COP26 and will also be presented to his office.
The campaign also includes the launch of Tearfund's ‘Call for All Creation’ petition, which aims to give voice to thousands of Australian Christians who want action on climate change.
The petition is asking the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, to use the UN Climate talks (COP26) to announce a clear and robust framework for climate action. By signing the petition, Australian Christians will send a clear message to our federal leaders that Australia needs a clear and robust framework for climate action that is consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5˚C warming limit.
Key messages of Christian Together for Climate include:
- The impact of climate change on the world’s poor demands our action
- Global hunger is on the rise for the first time in a decade, with climate change a leading cause. Moreover, COVID-19 brings a once-in-a century threat to health and livelihoods, leaving many of our global neighbours in crisis
- The impact of these challenges is most severe on the people living in our world’s poorest communities and our first nations peoples. It is one of the greatest injustices of our time: the people least responsible for climate change are often the most vulnerable to its impacts
- The whole of creation is crying out for restoration and while the current challenges that confront us appear overwhelming, we believe that, as unlikely messengers advocating to our political leaders for urgent action on climate justice, change is possible.
Jo Knight said: “Together we will demonstrate, through strategic local electoral engagement, that ordinary, everyday Christians care about tackling the climate crisis. Together we will amplify the human story of climate change and advocate on behalf of those most significantly impacted by climate injustice. Together we will call for urgent action on climate change from our political leaders. And call on our leaders to step up and save lives through Australian aid.”
About Tearfund Australia:
We work in partnership with local Christian agencies to end poverty, challenge inequality and build sustainable communities.
Tearfund Advocacy Director Jo Knight is available for interviews.
For more information please contact Georgina Bible: