The Climate Crisis and Churches' Options for Action: Ecumenical Learning Journey to PIK

05/03/2020 - 32 representatives from several churches took on a leaning journey about climate change and its consequences in Berlin and Potsdam. At the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Wolfgang Lucht shared some insights on Earth system research. The participants' conclusion: The church can play a major role in bridging the gap between knowledge and action and contribute to a different lifestyle through ecological spirituality.
The Climate Crisis and Churches' Options for Action: Ecumenical Learning Journey to PIK
32 ecumenical church representatives heard a lecture by Wolfgang Lucht. Photo: Felix Scherer/Bishopric of Speyer

"Humanity must not be a force of death, but of life", said Wolfgang Lucht, who gave a lecture presenting the mechanisms of the Earth system and the concept of planetary boundaries. "Global CO2 emissions continue to rise. At the moment we are on the way to a four to five degree temperature increase by the end of the century. We should achieve two degrees, or better yet, one and a half degrees. We are not on track at all," he warned.

The several-day learning trip to Potsdam was "enlightening, sobering and encouraging", summarized Senior Church Councilor Dorothee Wüst of the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate. Vicar General Andreas Sturm of the Diocese of Speyer described it as "stirring, informative and motivating". In addition to the visit to PIK, the programme included lectures at the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) in Berlin and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability (IASS) in Potsdam.

The trip to Potsdam and Berlin is intended to be the beginning of a more intensive ecumenical cooperation on climate protection, and serve to bring the urgent topic even more into the focus of church work and provide information about it.

Further information from the diocese of Speyer (in German only):