Lutheran, Anglican Bishops Write to the Prime Minister About the Climate Crisis

October 5, 2021

Bishops from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada have written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the climate crisis. Their calls for action come as the Canadian government prepares to participate in next month’s UN Climate Change Conference.

Text of the letter follows. Download a pdf of the letter here.

October 5, 2021

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

Congratulations to you and all who were recently elected to the next Parliament of Canada. As you begin the work of governance we, as leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), want to specifically address concerns and urge continuing action regarding climate change in light of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26). 

We write to express our concern about the ongoing impact of human-caused climate change on communities in Canada and around the world, and to call for action from the Canadian government in ensuring that Canada make its fair-share contribution to reducing greenhouse emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

As Christians, we are called to care for the whole of creation and to be responsible to our neighbours and communities. We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in our communities, and in communities around the world. From increased wildfire activity to extreme flooding to stark decreases in food security – particularly for Indigenous communities who rely on the land – the health, safety, and security of many continues to be threatened.

The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change offers a stark warning for us all as we look toward the future. This report confirms that human-caused climate change is already impacting our world, disrupting global weather systems, impacting food production, and spurring migration for climate-related reasons. These results are being felt around the world, however already-marginalized communities and countries experience the impacts and challenges of climate change to a much greater degree. These disparities will only increase as global temperatures continue to climb, however there are still ways to mitigate the damage if we make significant changes now.

As the Canadian government prepares to participate in the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, we join our voices to others in these lands calling for commitments to bold action to address climate change for the benefit of all. In particular we call on the Canadian government to:
– Commit to reducing Canadian greenhouse gas emissions by 60% below 2005 levels by 2030
– Invest in a just transition for workers and communities that promotes an inclusive green economy and provides secure jobs that support the well-being of all Canadians
– Honour the rights of Indigenous Peoples by recognizing and enacting the right to free, prior, and informed consent, particularly with respect to resource and infrastructure development, climate policy, and energy policy
– Commit support for climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in the Global South through international climate financing

The challenges ahead of us are monumental, and the results if we do nothing will be catastrophic. However, there is still time to limit these impacts and begin working toward a more positive future. We are people of hope, guided by our belief in the one who faced his own death and was resurrected to new life. We believe that a better world is possible and that, in fact, we are all called to play our part in building that world together. We stand ready to support bold action by your government at COP26 so that we can all look forward in hope to the world we will leave behind for the generations to come.

We look forward to working together with you in addressing this generational challenge. We have faith that together we can build a better world for all, if we are ready to take bold action. We hope that you will join us in this work.

In Christ,

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church of Canada

Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Anglican Indigenous Archbishop

The Most Rev. David Edwards
Metropolitan of Canada and Bishop of Fredericton

The Most Rev. Anne Germond
Metropolitan of Ontario andBishop of Algoma and Moosonee 

The Most Rev. Gregory Kerr-Wilson 
Metropolitan of Rupert’s Land and Bishop of Calgary

The Most Rev. Lynne McNaughton 
Metropolitan of B.C. and Yukon and Bishop of Kootenay

Rev. Dr. Sid Haugen
Bishop of the Saskatchewan Synod 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Rev. Dr. Larry Kochendorfer
Bishop of the Synod of Alberta and the Territories 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Rev. Dr. Gregory Mohr
Bishop of the British Columbia Synod 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Rev. Dr. Michael Pryse
Bishop of the Eastern Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada 

Rev. Jason Zinko
Bishop of the Manitoba Northwestern Ontario Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Diocese of Toronto

The Rt. Rev. Larry Beardy 
Suffragan Bishop
Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh

The Rt. Rev. Susan Bell
Diocese of Niagara

The Rt. Rev. William Cliff
Diocese of Brandon

The Rt. Rev. Sandra Fyfe
Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island 

The Rt. Rev. David Greenwood
Diocese of Athabasca

The Rt. Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee 
Diocese of British Columbia, Islands and Inlets

The Rt Rev. Adam Halkett
Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of Saskatchewan

The Rev. Rob Hardwick, (retired)
Bishop of Qu’Appelle

The Rt. Rev. Michael Hawkins 
Diocese of Saskatchewan

The Rt. Rev. Mary Irwin-Gibson
Diocese of Montreal 

The Rt. Rev. Annie Ittoshat
Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of the Arctic

The Rt. Rev. David Lehmann
Diocese of Caledonia

The Rt. Rev. Stephen London
Diocese of Edmonton

The Rt. Rev. Lydia Mamakwa
Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh

The Rt. Rev. Bruce Myers 
Diocese of Quebec

The Rt. Rev. Lucy Netser
Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of the Arctic

The Rt. Rev. John Organ
Diocese of Western Newfoundland

The Rt. Rev. Michael Oulton
Diocese Ontario

The Rt. Rev. Shane Parker
Diocese of Ottawa

The Rt. Rev. Philip Poole (retired)
Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of Toronto

The Rt. Rev. Kevin Robertson
Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of Toronto

The Rt. Rev. Sam Rose
Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador

The Rt. Rev. Joey Royal
Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of the Arctic

The Rt. Rev. Nigel Shaw
Bishop of the Military Ordinariate

The Rt. Rev. John Stephens
Diocese of New Westminster

The Rt. Rev. Todd Townshend
Diocese of Huron

The Rt. Rev. Riscylla Walsh-Shaw
Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of Toronto

The Rt. Rev. John Watton
Diocese of Central Newfoundland

The Rt. Rev. Lesley Wheeler-Dame
Diocese of Yukon

The Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Woodcroft
Diocese of Rupert’s Land