The Anglican Church of Southern Africa declares a Climate Emergency


The following motion was passed the Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa


This Synod noting that:

We face a triple emergency of climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty and inequality with reference to:

1. The latest Climate Change Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that we have less than twelve years to make a rapid transition away from fossil fuels to renewables or will face out of control climate change;

2. This is a Kairos moment;

3. Rapid climate change, with its increasingly severe weather patterns is having devastating effects on humanity, with its detrimental effects on agriculture, the increase in diseases and various negative impacts on human health;

4. One million out of the 5 million species on this planet face extinction due to human activity;

5 Our economic system is making the rich richer and the poor poorer. In 2018, 26 people owned the same amount of wealth as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity;

6. South Africa is the most unequal country in the world;

7 We cannot eradicate poverty unless we tackle climate change.

Further noting:

1. Mozambique has suffered devastating environmental damage and loss of life from Cyclones Idai and Kenneth. “Beira will go down in history as the first city to be completely devastated by Climate Change” said Graca Machel;

2. Parts of KwaZulu-Natal also suffered devastating floods with loss of life;

3. Namibia is suffering from massive drought;

4. Water crises are being experienced in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape.


1. The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC 17) meeting this year, passed three significant resolutions, which pertain to ACSA, calling for Provincial Action on Climate Change, (A17:05), Climate Resilience (A17: 06) and the Sustainable Development Goals

(A17:11) and encouraging Provinces to:

1.1 Declare a Climate Emergency;

1.2 Identify Environmental related threats;

1.3 Hold Strategic planning Conferences on the SDGs and Climate Change.

Resolves to:

1. Appeal for ACSA to declare a Climate Emergency for our Province.

2. Respectfully requests the Metropolitan to cause a Provincial Consultation to be convened on Climate Change in collaboration and at the cost of the ACSA Environmental Network and Hope Africa and to encourage as much as is possible the participation of the Bishops of the Province, Diocesan Social Development Representatives, Environmental Representatives, and Gender Representatives.

3. Ensure the participation of young and women’s voices.

4. This consultation should strive to achieve the following objectives:

a. Identify climate related threats;

b. Develop an action plan for individuals at Parish, Diocesan and Provincial levels on the Environment and Social Development, to include the following inter alia:

b.1 gender and other social considerations;

b.2 policies and procedures to increase the use of renewable energies and incorporate creation care into all aspects of church life, including into liturgical practice;

b.3 mainstreaming eco-theological reflection across all levels of theological education.

c. Report on the implementation of this resolution at the next Provincial Standing Committee and Provincial Synod.

1 thought on “The Anglican Church of Southern Africa declares a Climate Emergency”

  1. Gerald Raftopoulos

    Our climate is in a dire state. The rate of deterioration is increasing. Big money is being spent on fossil fuel production and exploration. Some of the biggest pension funds are putting pressure on the large corporates but much more needs to be done very quickly.
    In RSA there is almost no comment in the media on climate change. Most signatories to the 2015 Paris are behind schedule.
    In RSA we need to act as Extinction Rebellion is doing in Europe and the USA.
    I am a member of St Thomas Parish in Linden. Beside the September Creation Theme and a small number of other parishioners praying, we can and need to do far more. There needs to be a reminder in the Biddings EACH week about Climate change. As we have the Prayer for Africa, we urgently need A prayer FOR CLIMATE CHANGE EACH WEEK. The members of the Climate Change Group can approach the large supermarkets and demand the discontinuance of plastic containers for dishwashing liquids, tooth paste, shampoos, cleansing materials, fizzy dinks. The list is long.
    In my case since I have investments in the global corporates I am exerting pressure by writing to their Investor Relations officials.
    In the case of The Anglican Community our government must be approached.
    Kind regards
    Gerald Raftopoulos

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