The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and the Finnish Ecumenical Council, representing the Christian churches of our land, call our citizens, businesses, and decision makers to build a sustainable and just world.
In conjunction with the EcoFast campaign we wish to prove that by means of simple everyday solutions we can slow the pace of climate change, increase justice and promote well-being. It is a question of our world's ability to sustain life today and in the future. Now, our carbon footprint is too heavy. Slowing the pace of climate change requires action. Making choices for the good of the globe, the poor, and our children does not mean a joyless and dismal life, but a striving for moderation and sufficiency. We who reside in more prosperous countries hold a key position. Although we are a small nation, our example can encourage the world toward a new attitude and new action. If wealthy countries are not ready to act, it is futile to expect poor countries to do so. It is unjust and vain.
Examining our own way of life is a political act. We can choose green electricity, reduce the number of private automobiles and flights, eat less meat and favor energy-saving technology. But we also desire from decision makers and businesses ground rules that are just and responsible towards society. Decision makers have the responsibility to enact laws supporting a sustainable way of life and of doing business. Technology can also be of help if there is the demand, will, and pressure for its development. By giving up excess, we can perceive the beauty and value of basic things. Then we can enjoy the gifts offered by nature in a sustainable and moderate way. Then, consumption will not be insatiable; moderation will suffice.
Ascesis belongs to the tradition of many faiths. It calls us to discover the eternal value and significance within everyday things. This ecological fast will be put into practice this Lent, the period in the church year during which when we prepare for Easter.
Spiritual life and a moderate way of life support each other. Moderation and restraining from excess will lead us to perceive what already is good in itself, and to to feel gratitude for it. Our mind will open up to joy and celebration.
February 26th 2014
Director General Lea Kauppi
Archbishop Kari Mäkinen
Bishop Teemu Sippo SCJ
President, Finnish Ecumenical Council