Climate Change: Green Faith engages climate action campaign ahead of COP26
By Sah Terence Animbom
Ahead of the UN Climate Change Summit dubbed Conference of the Parties meeting in Glasgow UK for the 26th time since inception, world leaders and climate change experts have been carrying out sensitization campaigns across the globe to ensure effective action in combating climate change.
Greenfaith, a religious climate action organization based in New York USA and working in several countries around the globe through its Cameroonian partner Faiths for Climate Justice in Cameroon led by the Rev. Dr, Fuhbang Emmanuel Tanifum organized a series of sensitization campaigns across the country one week to the start of the COP26 Climate summit.
On October 17, 2021, the Greenfaith coordinator in Cameroon led a sensitization service at the Mission of Evangelical Church in Bamenda, Cameroon where a couple of activities like songs, talks and poster presentations on environmental protection were presented.
The talks focused on why destroying the planet is against the Christian faith, thus engaging Christians in a more participatory approach towards environmental protection.
On the same day, similar actions took place in some churches in Douala and Yaoundé.
On October 18, 2021 the GreenFaith team visited some institutions like the Douala IV municipality and the parliament to demand for these institutions to adopt policies that ensure 100% renewable energy for all, end deforestation and it’s finance among others.
Being the biggest faith-based day of climate action ever, with 500+ events in over 43 countries, the GreenFaith team in Cameroon made four solid demands; 1, An end to fossil fuels, deforestation, & related finance, 2, Universal access to clean energy, 3.
Green jobs to build back fossil free communities, 4, Climate reparations from wealthy countries.
We spoke to the Rev.Dr. Fuhbang Emmanuel, the coordinator of the GreenFaith’s Faith 4 Climate Justice in Cameroon. According to him,
“Climate change and environmental injustice is present in all of our communities, and much of it is caused by coal, oil, gas, and deforestation companies, banks funding the companies, and people that enable the companies endanger the society.” He said. “According to the Global Forest Watch, in 2010 Cameroon had 30.4Mha of natural forest, extending over 66% of its land area. In 2020, it lost 201kha of natural forest, causing and equivalent of 133Mt of CO2 emissions” he added. “The time to act is now!!!” he roared.
“People of various faiths must be at the fore to sound the alarm and appeal for climate justice. Today, our message to the powers that be is clear and straight forward: for the love of all, no more coal, oil, gas. For the sake of all beings, let us protect indigenous rights. We must stop destroying Creation by stopping deforestation. Cameroonian banks should not finance companies that destroy our environment but should encourage 100% solar and wind energy generation ventures. We must wake up to clean energy. We must restore sacred balance by creating green jobs. People of faith are saying no more pipelines. Killing the planet is against our faiths and is haram and sin.” He added
“No religion is asking us to destroy the earth. Concerning Christianity, the Bible gives three main reasons why Christians should care for the environment. First, God Himself says that His creation is very good (Gen. 1:25). The material world matters to God; He sustains it all the time. Without Him it would fall apart into chaos. "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1.16–17). So if we neglect, abuse and spoil the environment, we are damaging something that is precious to God. By caring for the earth properly, we enable it to be fruitful and to play its intended role in giving glory to God. That is part of our proper worship of God.
He also indicated that the second and even more important reason why Christians must care for the environment is that in Genesis 1.28 and 2.15, God specifically commanded humankind to do so.
He further explained that man’s divine purposes at creation included man’s fellowship with God and the caring of the earth.
Lastly, as Christians, Rev.Dr. Fuhbang intimated that we are called to love. Love for God and man (Matt. 22: 35-40).
To love God is to obey his words (John 14:15). Also, we cannot love man and destroy his environment, he added.
So, followers of Jesus Christ of Nazareth must be good stewards of his creation without abusing it for their own selfish ends.
"Therefore, without the environment, even Christians cannot survive. Caring for the earth is caring for your own survival.” He ended.