Icelandic Clergy Urge Government to Declare Climate Emergency
Clergy of the National Church of Iceland are calling for the government to declare a state of emergency due to climate change, RÚV reports. The church’s environmental project manager says it is urgent to restore wetlands on church property, promote forestry, and use electric vehicles in the National Church’s work.
Some 200 Icelandic pastors and deacons meet yearly at a synod to discuss church affairs. Attendees of the 2019 meeting adopted extensive environmental resolutions, including measures such as restoring drained wetlands on church properties, undertaking large-scale forestry, and carbon-neutralising the church’s transportation within the next three years. Clergy also seconded the Icelandic Environmental Association’s call for the government to declare a climate emergency.
“I think it’s becoming clear to people, and not least of all to most Christians, that we need to take more radical action on climate change issues,” stated Halldór Reynisson, the church’s environmental project manager. “That’s why we want to start by doing what we can.”
The resolutions agreed upon at the synod will now be put before the church’s board. If approved, they must be submitted to the church council this fall before they take effect.