Moderator urges people to get behind People's Climate March

Presbyterian Moderator, the Rt Rev Andrew Norton, is urging people to support the People’s Climate March this weekend.

This global People's Climate March movement started in 2014, and aims to raise awareness of climate change, and call for greater action on climate from world leaders.

Climate march events take place around the world this weekend, and are scheduled to occur the week before the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference. In New Zealand, there will be events in 34 towns and cities around the country.

The Rev Dr Carolyn Kelly, Presbyterian chaplain at The University of Auckland, is among the Christian leaders who are participating in the Auckland march. Following Saturday's march, a church service will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

“As Christians, we are called to be stewards of the earth, and climate change threatens God’s creation,” says Carolyn.

Andrew agrees, saying: “The issue of climate change isn’t a theoretical problem, it’s real one, with very real impacts on our Pacific neighbours who face the devastating effects of rising sea levels and devastating storms.

“Our response to these issues must also be real. Take action. Help achieve justice for our nearest Pacific neighbours and make your voice heard on this important issue,” says Andrew.

The call to support the People’s Climate March is part of the Presbyterian Church’s long-standing commitment to improving environmental outcomes for the current generation and those to come.

In 2014, the Church asked that the Church’s Property Trustees, who manage the major funds of the Church, divest from fossil fuel investments. Individual congregations were encouraged to do the same with their own investments. In June this year, the Church made a submission to Government on the consultation for setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target.

In October 2008, a Declaration on Climate Change and the Environment was adopted by the Church’s General Assembly. Churches were encouraged to audit their environmental footprints, and study the issues of climate change and the environment, and take practical action.