Swedish Bishops on Climate Change

Swedish Bishops May 2014

The bishops of the Church of Sweden have written an open letter on climate issues.  It is a theological contribution to the discussion on climate and sustainability in Sweden, challenging clearly, among others, Swedish and international decision makers.

The bishops’ text “A Letter from the Bishops on Climate Issues” is introduced by a summary of the state of knowledge [about the subject] and ends up with concrete calls to the Church of Sweden and churches all over the world, to decision-makers in Sweden and on the international stage, to businesses and organisations as well as to individuals.

The bishops of the Church of Sweden call for …

  • The Church of Sweden, parishes and dioceses to continue to work for a sustainable lifestyle and ensure that the stewardship of the church’s assets demonstrates how a theological view of creation can facilitate a change of position in regard to climate.
  • All people in Sweden to reflect over their own responsibility and use their rights as citizens and voters to work for a powerful change in attitudes to climate issues.
  • Swedish decision-makers to introduce guidance [or requirements] so that Sweden’s internal emissions reduce to one metric ton per capita by 2050, to work for a raised level of ambition in the climate politics of the EU and support work on climate issues in developing countries over and above the aid target of 1% of Sweden’s Gross National Income.
  • Businesses and organisations not to wait for international agreements or national guidance [or requirements], but from the standpoint of their own roles and from their own resources invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency and business strategies that contribute to the development of a sustainable community.
  • International decision makers and organisations to act expeditiously and constructively so that globally binding climate agreements can be achieved, as soon as in Paris in 2015, which are sufficiently ambitious to prevent dangerous climate change.
  • Church leaders all over the world to strive to strengthen the contribution of churches and religions to justice and a change of position in relation to climate issues and make international ecumenical and interfaith cooperation an effective resource in the work.

(From the Växjö Diocese web pages – translated and used with permission)

[The official English translation of the bishops’ letter can be viewed or downloaded here.]