In his address to the World Leaders Forum held at the Columbia University on 2 December, UN secretary-general António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres spoke on the “State of the Planet.” He described our planet as “broken” and humanity as waging a suicidal war on the natural world. The fatal and disastrous consequences, including runaway climate change, biodiversity loss, and the COVID-19 pandemic, are increasingly apparent.
Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, interim general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) said, “On behalf of the WCC, I welcome this powerful moment of truth-telling from Mr Guterres even as many leaders continue to deny science and the urgency of global action on climate change.”
Guterres’ call and proposals to “make peace with nature” resonate strongly with the WCC’s mission to make peace with the Earth. This critical undertaking and averting the climate catastrophe entail deepening climate justice.
Sauca added: “We are committed to journeying with the UN and like-minded movements and faith communities for the wellbeing of creation and humanity. In this season of advent, Mr Guterres’ address echoes the biblical message that reminds us of the critical times we are living, and calls us to be alert, awake and responsive (Mark 13:24-37). The Gospel obliges us to discern the signs and pursue justice (Deuteronomy 16:20) with a sense of urgency and as a divine necessity. Let us join together and move forward in unity and hope.”