In its revised Episcopal Letter for the Climate, the Church of Sweden has demanded a tougher climate policy from Sweden's politicians and authorities.
Among others, the letter features stronger rhetoric, as the previous phrasing “climate challenges” has been replaced by harsher wording: “climate crisis”. According to the church, Sweden must make good on its stated goal to achieve “climate neutrality” by 2045.
“The climate crisis has become much more concrete over the past five years, not least through the 2015 Paris Agreement. <...> Now it is clear that this is actually a climate crisis, for we already see for example how is leading to increased migration. All the facts on the table indicate that we will not achieve the goals that have been set unless we increase our efforts”, Archbishop Antje Jackelén told the newspaper Expressen.
In a related move, the Church of Sweden, which has assets worth SEK 49 billions ($5 billion) will review its own investments and remove funds from those who are not climate-friendly enough.
Archbishop Antje Jackelén also paid tribute to teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and her perseverance.
“I believe she is actually prophetic in the same way that the Old Testament prophets were persistent with their message," Antje Jackelén told Expressen.
In addition to praising Greta's aptitude in giving interviews, Jackelén stressed that her propensity to engge in “symbolic deeds” was also similar to that of biblical prophets.
“It started with the the school strike and continued with her journey [across the Atlantic],” Jackelén said.
In conclusion, Jackelén stressed that she herself eats vegetarian “at least five times a week” in order to minimise the carbon footprint. In a nod to Thunberg, she also emphasised that while her post as archbishop demands flights, she has not flown privately “for almost two years”. Partly owing to Thunberg's relentless campaigning, the Swedish word 'flygskam' (literally "flight shame") has become a pan-European movement that encourages people to stop flying to lower carbon emissions and favour more “eco-friendly” means of transportation, such as trains. Many Swedish celebrities, including Greta's own mother, opera singer Malena Ernman, claim to have given up flying.
Earlier, the Church of Sweden had stepped into controversy by hailing Greta Thunberg as “Jesus's Sucessor”. Previously, even Uniting Church in Sweden deacon Anna Ardin likened the 16-year-old climate alarmist to biblical prophets, among other things, including“daring to talk about harsh reality” and “preaching repentance”.
Greta Thunberg recently had her arguably biggest moment of fame when she addressed the UN General Assembly with a passionate speech.