an online briefing for Uniting Church members – Insights Magazine


Did you know that burning coal is the number one cause of harmful climate change and that Australia is one of the biggest exporters of coal? Every day, Australian coal fuels climate change that affects us here, at home and around the world.

It is not only a matter of care for creation but of justice. It is the communities that have contributed the least to the climate crisis, including our neighbors in Pasifika, who will face the earliest and most severe impacts of climate change.

That’s why the Uniting Climate Action Network is asking members of the United Church to consider getting involved in the Moved Beyond Coal campaign. We’re hosting an online briefing on the evening of Thursday, September 8, so you can find out how.

What is the Move Beyond Coal campaign?

The Move Beyond Coal campaign is a grassroots movement calling on banks to end funding for coal expansion. It is supported by organizations such as Tipping point and the Australian religious response to climate change. The first objective will be to urge the National Australia Bank to end its financial support for the expansion of Whitehaven Coal in New South Wales. This action is consistent with statements our church has made on climate action. In its National Climate Action Plan, the UCA Assembly called for “an immediate halt to new coal or gas mining or other means of extraction”.

What will the briefing cover?

The briefing will discuss the role Australia’s coal exports are playing in global warming. We will hear about lessons from previous campaigns that show that focusing attention on those who fund coal production can curb coal mining and export. We’ll learn how a series of actions from sending an email to displaying banners at bank branches to lobbying bank executives can cause lenders to reconsider the flow of credit. money to new coal mines.

What does this have to do with the Christian faith?

The short answer is a lot. Our church has stated, “The Uniting Church’s commitment to environmental well-being stems from its belief that God is the Creator of the world in which we live, move, and live. This ‘groaning’ creation is God’s ‘good’ creation”. A large majority of United Church members agree with this belief. In 2016, the National Church Life Survey found that 81 percent of church members said care for creation should be an essential part of the mission of the church.

There are many ways to show that you care about creation, and advocating for reduced coal emissions is just one of them. A number of Uniting Church members are already involved in such action, alone or in concert with other groups. We want to encourage those who may not have acted in this way before to consider getting involved.

What will you be asked to consider?

The briefing will tell you why the campaign is important and what you can do. This includes the ability to form local action groups to build relationships with local NAB branches as well as other supportive actions. We’ll let you know how to connect with the wider campaign and what resources will be provided to help you take action. Whether or not you decide to get involved after that is entirely up to you.

Who organizes the briefing?

This briefing is organized by the Uniting Climate Action network and members of the Uniting Advocacy team as part of the Synod’s climate action strategy. Our keynote speaker is Fahimah Badrulhisham. Fahimah is an organizer with the Australian Religious Response to Climate who strongly believes in the importance of multi-faith climate action.

The Move Beyond Coal campaign briefing will take place on the evening of Thursday, September 8 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. You can register here.

For more information please contact Jon O’Brien on 0477 725 528 or [email protected]

The Uniting Advocacy Team

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