Lutherans to spearhead 'Fast for Climate' campaign at Paris launch
A coalition of French religious and lay organizations is to launch a monthly "Fast for the Climate" campaign – a global interfaith initiative spearheaded by the Lutheran World Federation.
The LWF says in a statement the fasting for climate campaign will launch at a press conference in Paris on June 4.
The Fast for the Climate will take place on the first day of each month until December 2015 – when the United Nations climate conference (COP21) begins in Paris.
It has grown into a global movement with the participation of youth, environmental and faith groups, who all want urgent action on climate change by governments this year.
The campaign was launched by the LWF together with many other global organizations on January 1, following an initiative of the LWF delegation to COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland, in November.
The delegation, which comprised young delegates from all LWF regions, was inspired by the plight of the Philippine delegate, Yeb Saño, whose own family was caught up Typhoon Haiyan.
Saño, who will be a panelist at the Paris press conference, said in a speech he would not eat until countries at the Warsaw conference delivered actions that would "stop the madness" around countries attititudes' to carbon emissions which impact climate.
"This fast is an effective door-opener for the LWF. Through a practice that carries both a deep spiritual meaning and a strong symbolic message, the LWF can lead churches to act on climate change," said Martin Kopp, who was part of the LWF delegation in Warsaw.
"In France for instance, the fast is the first-ever common action on climate change of the three biggest Christian institutions. It serves as the first step of the ecumenical collaboration toward COP21, that will be held in Paris in late 2015."
The hosts of the press conference, which will be held on a house boat facing the "Assemblée Nationale" are Chrétiens Unis pour la Terre, A Rocha France ; Bible et Création, Pax Christi France, le Christianisme Social ; Justice, Paix et Sauvegarde de la Création-Alsace.
Panelists include Nicolas Hulot , special envoy for the Planet of the French; François Clavairoly – co-president of the Council of Christian Churches in France (CECEF) and president of the French Protestant Federation (FPF); and Tareq Oubrou, Great Imam of Bordeaux from the Great Mosque of Bordeaux.