The Hope We Share: A Vision For Copenhagen

Full Title:
The Hope We Share: A Vision For Copenhagen
A Statement from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network

October 12, 2009
Anglican Communion News Service

In preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference Of Parties (COP) Meetings to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December, the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) has issued a statement to Anglicans Worldwide, to COP Delegates, Faith Community Representatives, Observer Organizations, and Friends of Creation.

Conferring by email, and using a draft text by Convener, Bishop George Browning, retired Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn in Australia, the network’s nineteen provincial representatives considered and amended a three-page statement seeking to address the moral consequences of climate change and to provoke UN delegates to combine hope with realism as they devise a political system which will take effect in 2012 when the Kyoto Protocol expires:

We look to the Copenhagen conference with hope but also with realism . . . there must be a desire on the part of every nation to do what they know they must, not because they are legally bound, but because they share a vision for a more just and sustainable future . . . We pray that each nation will come to the conference wanting the highest level outcome; that demanding targets will be set, not in an attempt to discipline reluctant participants, or to give some preferential treatment which undermines the whole; but that a greater vision might be shared.

The Anglican Communion occupies a unique position globally in terms of affecting and suffering from climate change:

From all points of the globe we point to the reality of climate change and to the very serious effect it is already having upon our people; from severe weather events, to prolonged droughts, major floods, loss of habitat and changing seasons.

Our position is faith-based:

Our faith and our ancestors have always taught us that the earth is our mother and deserves respect; we know that this respect has not been given. We know that like a mother the earth will continue to give its all to us. However, we also know that we are now demanding more than it is able to provide. Science confirms what we already know, our human footprint is changing the face of the earth and because we come from the earth, it is changing us too.

Our statement is framed in the context of hope channeled through a positive vision.

We have always known that “without a vision, the people perish”. The Copenhagen Conference can either produce a bland, minimalist set of non enforceable targets or it can sketch a vision to inspire the world and its peoples. Leaders lead, please . . . do not let us down.

A PDF of the Statement is available here

Contact Information

The Rt. Rev. George Browning, Convener
Statement Draft

The Rev. Terrie Robinson, Anglican Communion Networks Coordinator
Anglican communion Networks Context

Office of the UN Observer, New York
UN functions

The Rev. Ken Gray,



As an official network of the Anglican Communion the ACEN strives:

  • to encourage Anglicans to support sustainable environmental practices as individuals and in the life of their communities
  • to provide information about policies embraced by synods, councils and commissions, and especially by the instruments of Unity (Statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Resolutions and Reports of the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council)
  • to support local initiatives by providing information about ideas and best practices developed around the communion
  • to share information about resources and initiatives that may be of value to Anglicans everywhere
  • to provide an opportunity for interested Anglicans to meet both as a formal network, and informally via electronic media.