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Environmental Racism – When #Blacklives Don’t Matter

The following resolution was adopted by Provincial Standing Committee 2020, proposed and seconded respectively by Ms Basetsana Makena and Mr Bino Makhalanyane, youth representatives to PSC:

This PSC Noting that:

The world responded with urgency and speed to the challenge of COVID-19, which affected all countries.

The world has been slow to respond to climate change, clinging to an increasingly precarious and unjust economic system. It is predominantly Black lives that are being impacted by drought, flooding, storms and sea level rise. The delayed global response to climate injustice gives the impression that #blacklivesdontmatter. Without urgent action, Black lives will continue to be the most impacted, being dispossessed from their lands and becoming climate refugees.

We saw how COVID-19 swept through crowded vulnerable communities unable to socially distance; how rural communities without effective sanitation cannot keep themselves safe. Pollution affects the poor and people of colour the most, toxic dump sites are placed next to poor communities; indigenous people are forced off their land, air pollution is worst in poor communities of colour.

We stand at a Kairos moment – in order to fight environmental injustice, we must also fight racial injustice.

In the words of Archbishop Tutu, “If you are neutral in times of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

This PSC affirms

The Statement on Environmental Racism issued by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) issued June 19, 2020, a day known as Juneteenth in the United States, marking and remembering the official end of slavery in that country in 1865. This Statement was signed globally by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 12 Archbishops and over 60 Bishops.

Let us take action for climate justice to show #blacklivesmatter.

This PSC Commits to:

Prioritising climate action by

– Online meetings: Committing to using online meetings wherever possible, in order to reduce plane and car travel.

– Combatting Deforestation: As a Church, encouraging a halt on the cutting of indigenous forests, and the roll out of indigenous or fruit tree planting from the symbolic tens to the hundreds and thousands. Promote alternatives to charcoal and wood burning.

– Solar energy: When hot water geysers need to be replaced on church or rectory property, install solar geysers. Explore mini-grid renewable energy systems.

Communicate internationally: Make the impact of climate change known to our companion Dioceses and at other events where we are invited to speak or communicate.

1 reply on “Environmental Racism – When #Blacklives Don’t Matter”

And. . .AND work to change how the Anglican faith tradition has been worshipping and praying as if all salvation is about the human animal only, and how we remain motivated by concern for the dignity of every human being (only), and not every living being. We need to change how we worship and pray. But these are sacred cows indeed, and difficult to challenge.

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