Song for the Summit: 25,000 children sing to G7 on climate care

We report on the Sing2G7 choir inspiration urging G7 leaders to listen to young people's words on climate care and on latest developments on our Eco-Diocese agenda. We also feature the European Green Deal package in the EU to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. 

Leaders of the G7 have gathered in Cornwall this weekend for a Summit billed by the UK G7 Presidency as "building back better" from the global Pandemic. The G7 was set up in 1975 as an informal forum bringing together the world’s leading industrial nations.  Its (normally annual) summits gather leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, United States. The European Union is represented by the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission.

Song for the Summit: Gee Seven

One of the key items on the G7 leaders' agenda this year will be "building back greener: Climate and nature." Speaking ahead of the Summit, Bishop Robert said:

"Care for our climate is an urgent common interest that affects us all. The G7 summit in Cornwall this week is a key opportunity for our global leaders. They need to commit themselves to overdue action now to tackle climate change."

As we have shared on diocesan social media, young people have been ensuring their voices are heard by G7 leaders!  25,000 children across 27 nations have united to sing to G7 leaders, urging them to “make bold, decisive steps this weekend to care for everyone in the world and look after our planet,” said Bishop Robert, who was invited to offer a video message this week to the Sing2G7 choristers from Truro Cathedral who have been leading children worldwide in songHe commended the children as “... courageous advocates who can help to change our world for the better.  “It’s about young people, the young people who form the choir… we are hoping to encourage young people from around the world to join in with the Sing2G7 project and make their voices heard.  It’s about our responsibility to care for creation,” adds Bishop Philip Mounstephen, the Bishop of Truro.

The Diocese in Europe is also planning a pan-diocesan event bringing together our eco- and young people’s ministry on 10 September, around the time of Climate Sunday ahead of the Conference of Parties (COP 26) meeting in Glasgow in November. 


Diocesan Synod this week received updates on latest developments and initiatives. The Church of England has set a ‘carbon neutral’ target by 2030. A net-zero group in the Diocese is working on guidance to chaplaincies and we are trying to measure our carbon footprint. This involves; bringing eco-churches onto agendas, giving ‘First Steps’ guidance to all chaplaincies, a recommendation of online measurement tools and encouragement to record Carbon Footprint on annual returns.  Across the Diocese in Europe, there is now a network of over seventy representatives to develop approaches to tackle the climate crises, inform chaplaincies on caring for creation and encourage worship in regard to creation, such as at last year's pan-diocesan Creationtide service.


Photo: Noah Buscher, Unsplash

There are also more events and conferences to look forward to on reducing our carbon footprint and caring for creation, similar to the 'Plastic Free February' event held in January and our series in April 2021 exploring the theological discussion of caring for creation as discipleship and our strategy for tackling the climate crises in the Church of England. The series covered the topics of; ‘Caring for Creation’, ‘Church of England Net Zero goal’, ‘Biblical Mandate for Care for Creation’, ‘Intentional Discipleship’ and ‘Green Anglican movement’.

Palermo City forest

In collaboration with A Rocha we have also developed a network of over ten Eco-Churches. Diocesan Environmental Officer, Elizabeth Bussmann and the Environmental Network are working hard to get more churches signed up as eco-churches and embarking on care for creation initiatives, such as the Palermo chaplaincy innovative development of an Eco-Forest in a pocket-sized flower bed to encourage bio-diversity, which we reported on in April (pictured).

The European Green Deal

The Diocese also participated this week in one of the EU regular dialogues that include faith partners, organised by the European Commission and European Parliament. Coming together before the G7 Summit, partners considered the European Green Deal and they discussed the challenges ahead with Aleksandra Tomczak, Member of Cabinet in the team of Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal.


Graphic:  European Commission

The EU is striving to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.  The European Green Deal package covers:

  • Investing in environmentally-friendly technologies
  • Supporting industry to innovate
  • Rolling out cleaner, cheaper and healthier forms of private and public transport
  • Decarbonising the energy sector
  • Ensuring buildings are more energy efficient; and
  • EU work with international partners to improve global environmental standards.

The EU has agreed to enshrine the goal of 2050 climate neutrality in a Climate Law. In addition, last December, EU leaders agreed “Fit for 55” a binding target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, up from its current target for 2030 of at least 40%.

“As part of our Eco-Diocese agenda, there are key EU opportunities for us to decide, as a diocese, get involved in, including the European Climate Pact, an invitation to share information about tackling climate change and environmental degradation.  There is an online platform, as well as dialogues and exchanges to foster the link between digital and green transitions across economic life,” says Damian Thwaites, Bishop’s attaché to the European Institutions. 

“At the dialogue this week, I was able to share some of our recent Diocesan initiatives with partners, and to promote Sing2G7 and our pan-diocesan eco event in September.  Working alongside our ecumenical and other faith partners on the green agenda is really important engagement for the Diocese”, Damian added.


Story and reporting: Damian Thwaites, Jamie Ellis