WCC general secretary: “we have to think and act ‘green’ in everything we do”

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit responded to the recently released report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the impacts of global warming.

“Use of fossil fuels, unsustainable production of food, and deforestation, among other human economic activities, have raised greenhouse gases to a level that already has an unambiguous impact on the climate,” Tveit said. “The report states that the consequences of temperatures rising will be more severe than what was predicted earlier.”

As people of faith we must always have the impoverished and vulnerable in the midst of our prayers and actions, Tveit continued. “We cannot be silent and stay passive,” he said. “We all need to do what we can do.”

Governments, businesses, churches and individuals all have a part, he added.

“We have to think and act ‘green’ in everything we do. As general secretary of the World Council of Churches, I am just now leading a process towards a full-scale project of changing the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, and of plans for building several new buildings there (the “Green Village” project).”

Tveit pledged to use his influence to convince investors, as a condition of becoming owners in the Green Village, to commit to attain a high quality ecological certification not only in energy efficiency, water management and biodiversity in the construction of the new buildings and park, but also in the ongoing operation of the Green Village as a community.

“What you and I do in response to perhaps the biggest global challenge humanity has ever confronted may be seen as a mere drop in the ocean,”he concluded. “But this can turn into a wave of change.”

World Council of Churches, oikoumene.org