Churches in Europe are called to respond to the challenge of climate change

Conference of European Churches – Office of Communications

Press Release No.08-49/e
Geneva, 29 September 2008

The 7th Assembly of the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) ended on Sunday 28 September in Milan, Italy. The final act of the Assembly was a community worship service celebrated together with the Evangelical Methodist Church in Milan. One hundred delegates from 27 countries and from all Christian traditions took part in the Assembly on the theme “The true challenge of climate change”. A network connected with the Conference of European Churches (CEC), ECEN celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

The ECEN Assembly was built on the spirit of the third European Ecumenical Assembly (EEA3) in Sibiu, Romania 2007, which recommended to the churches to celebrate a “Time of Creation” between 1 September and 4 October, and to intensify action and networking in order to address environmental challenges.

The Assembly was held in Triuggio near Milan. The delegates stressed the importance of sharing of experiences and good practices, which are now undertaken by churches in many countries in Europe. “In a number of churches in Europe, care for creation has received rising attention. Therefore is it increasingly important to provide a space for exchange of experiences and deliberation in view of common action”, stated Rev. Dr. Peter Pavlovic, secretary of the ECEN, in his concluding remarks.

The final statement of the Assembly underlined that: “The roots of human destruction of the environment are to be found not just in actions, but in our most deep-seated attitudes. It is not enough for humans to keep alive by consuming the world around them; they need a relationship with the world that is not purely utilitarian and market-based”.

Churches need to accept the challenge to come together to overcome the threat of water shortages, decreased harvests, natural disasters, diseases, migration and many other projected effects of climate change. The Assembly delegates called on the church leaders “to develop their own comprehensive road-map, with timescales and clear goals, to help ameliorate global warming”.

The final statement urges church leaders, church communities across the continent and individual Christians to address their respective governments and political representatives in the European Parliament in the next few months, where important decisions will be taken. “The EU commitments for Green House Gas emissions must not be achieved through offsetting emissions: significant cuts of greenhouse gas emissions have to be achieved through efforts here and now,’ says the document.

The final statement adopted by the Assembly: “The real challenge of climate change – an appeal to Churches” is available on this website.

Also see the previous press release on the ECEN Assembly at:


The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

For more information:

Luca Negro
CEC Secretary for Communications and Information
Phone +41 22 791 64 85 or 791 63 25
Fax +41 22 791 62 27
e-mail: Luca [dot] Negroatcec-kek [dot] org