Lacklustre clergy a climate change problem

climate change

Climate change isn’t something most clergy in New Zealand are actively working on, says Marilyn Yurjevich of 350 Aotearoa.

350 Aotearoa is the New Zealand arm of the international climate movement, which aims to unite the world around climate change solutions.

“Regrettably, the response to the call for action has been strikingly low, leading to the lack of media coverage on the matter,” Yurjevich says.

“The inadequate number of responses received indicates insufficient credible support for climate action among New Zealand’s clergy.”

350 Aotearoa contacted clergy from the main denomination parishes in New Zealand in February.

The group asked for clergy support regarding a proposed letter to Members of Parliament about climate change. 350 Aotearoa also hoped to publish the letter in New Zealand’s major newspapers.

“At about the same time, extreme weather events struck northern parts of New Zealand. These events served as a glimpse into the potential future effects of climate change,” Yurjevich says.

Starting with environmentally destructive practices that have been increasingly detrimental to the planet since the industrial revolution, deforestation, mineral extraction, biodiversity loss and pollution of air, land and water have been accelerating since the 1980s.

“These injustices… are now inflicting severe harm on human well-being and the overall balance of life forms globally.”

Yurjevich says she’s noticed through personal observation that many clergy members don’t feel compelled to speak out on environmental matters or climate change, despite recognising the responsibility to care for God’s creation.

“Alternatively, they seem unaware of the severity of the planet’s current dire state—a condition unparalleled since long before humans inhabited Earth and carbon was buried, shaping an environment suitable for human habitation,” she says.

Yurjevich says in light of the clergy’s disappointing engagement, she’s working without them.

A list of actionable steps for individuals, institutions and businesses has been created.

“These will help them contribute positively to the climate crisis.

“The list aims to address the lack of awareness and knowledge regarding personal involvement in mitigating climate change. Sharing these actions widely can help empower and inspire those who may be unaware of the difference they can make.”

Yurjevich says as the threat of climate change intensifies, it becomes increasingly critical for all sectors of society to recognise and act upon the urgency of the issue.

“Failure to take swift action poses the risk of irreparable damage to our planet and its inhabitants,” she says.

CathNews highlighted recently that Kiwis are not joining the Climate Change fight.


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News category: New Zealand, Palmerston.

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