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April 27, 2021

LWF and ELCA Affirm Outcome of Leaders Summit on Climate

Urgent climate action, increased ambition needed

(LWI) – In a joint statement, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have affirmed the outcomes of the Leaders Summit on Climate as “a step in the right direction.” The summit was convened online on the initiative of United States President Joe Biden from 22-23 April.

However, the commitments made “need to be followed up with a clear plan to bring leaders and nations together in action,” the statement continues. “Until now, Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by Parties were not ambitious enough to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

“The world needs bold leaders working together,” says LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr. Martin Junge. “No leader or country can solve the climate crisis on their own, but all can contribute to its solution.”

The statement draws a parallel between the current COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. Both disproportionately affect the lives and livelihoods of people and communities that are already vulnerable. Joint efforts are needed to cope with and address both crises. Measures to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the economic recovery packages, must be “in line with ambitious climate policy and action”, resetting economies on more climate-friendly paths.

“We know that healing is possible – for the planet and our communities,” says ELCA’s presiding bishop Elizabeth Eaton. “As Lutherans, we heed the call and care for the Earth and all its inhabitants. The time is now to remedy the effects of climate change.”

The statement calls on the international community to, amongst others, “recognize the interconnectivity of health and climate change”, and protect the environment and biodiversity. Also, tools to strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of food systems must be developed.

By LWF/A. Weyermüller

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