Bishop’s Advent Appeal for European Climate Disaster Relief 2021
|The Bishop in Europe:
The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes
Climate change is probably the biggest single issue facing humanity at present and into the future. When I speak to Anglican colleagues from around the world, I hear of its impacts in everything from threatened islands in Polynesia to desertification in sub-Saharan Africa. But this last summer, we have been forcibly reminded that climate change is a global phenomenon that visits our own doorstep in Europe: fires have taken hold in Greece, Spain and Turkey; there has been severe and fatal flooding in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Our chaplain in Liège, Revd Guy Diakiese, was among those pushing water and mud out of the living-rooms of neighbours.
The root causes of climate change are now generally acknowledged to be the increase in greenhouse gases generated mainly by the human burning of carbon. There is pressure worldwide to reduce use of fossil views and stabilise temperature rises, and this is what COP26 in Glasgow is about. But as well as addressing the causes we also need to address the effects of rising temperature, as seen in more and more extreme weather events. Very high rates of rainfall and very high temperatures have a devastating impact on the wellbeing of people and property, as we have seen in our corner of the world. The image is of the town of Bad Neuenahr in the Rhineland.
So my Advent Appeal this year will be focused on assisting agencies that are working in these parts of Europe, as they bring support to those who are affected by man-made climate change.
Many of us will know the work of Caritas International, the Roman Catholic agency that sustains many varieties of Christian relief and support across the world; their national agencies in Spain and Italy will assist with disaster relief.