Imagine if all the stuffy, long yet incredibly important climate- and other environmental data and policy information were accompanied by stories? Or even beautiful poetics? Or music? Song? Dance? In making it more relatable we can engage with the challenges. We can take action and support each other in our own contextualized way. The Church of Climate Change is a fresh, inclusive, non-religious community platform that takes on the realities of climate change.
A conscious community that reflects on our relationship to the environment and acts according to a core principle: Leave It Better Than You Found It
What problem are you trying to solve?
We have a rapidly closing window to keep climate change within manageable bounds. In the IPCC report that will be coming out this fall, this window is estimated to be 3 to 5 years. We need to do everything we can, and mobilize as many people as possible, to focus on this issue and act. Not only to mitigate the problem, but also to build resilience where it is needed most.
Climate change can’t be understood in a vacuum. It’s a systemic problem, with our mindset and behaviour towards nature being at the core of what needs to change. We believe that the focus on technological solutions to climate change needs to be complemented by a socio-cultural perspective.
Also, we realized that we need community in order to change our minds and behaviours. It is hard to change by yourself, it can be joyful to create change together. Fatigue and pessimism can transform into hope and action within a positive community. The model of a Church responds to all of the above, and it can scale.
What is your solution to this problem?
We are building a community that can a) put climate change on the agenda and b) feel empowered to take action together:
•Structure & inclusivity: as a non-hierarchical community, we create space for our members to participate, create and partner. We strive to bring together people of all religious backgrounds, women and men, creative activists and entrepreneurs, rural and urban.
•There are different programs within the Church:
i. Preaching Green masses, reflecting on our relationship with nature.
ii.LIBTYFI days, actively improving our environments
iii. Photography for awareness (more under update)
iv.A catalogue of climate resilience interventions
v.A biodiversity forest
•Female leadership: feminine values – like intergenerational thinking and care – are needed to balance out our approach to climate change. We emphasize this in leadership and ambassadorship.
•Communications: we use all digital means available, from an active WhatsApp group in Ghana to a newsletter and blog.
What is your latest update on your innovation?
The CCC is growing, in numbers and in scope. We commune regularly in nature: cleaning the beach, spending time with a Rastafari elder who lives at a waterfall. We love seeing the action that individual members take after being inspired by the masses: preaching in public transport about our plastic problem and tree planting.
We’re also developing a research project which will culminate in a photo calendar – showcasing our vulnerability and connection to nature, coupled with different libtyfi strategies. It’s objectives:
1. Connect young creatives across disciplines ready to collaborate, willing to express themselves and create for the cause of climate change. We aim to support the emergence of new thought leaders in Accra on this pressing issue.
2. Raise the profile of environmental engagement. To inspire people to go for a lifestyle that helps build resilience against climate change.
3. Facilitate owners of the calendar to act, leading to a wider activated community of libtyfi-ers.