Our friends in Norway, Gronn Kirke, have organised a pilgrimage to Paris, similar to our baton relay, but using a bottle of water. Here is their latest update:
Klimapilgrim 2015 is an ecumenical mobilisation for climate justice in Norway. The campaign is a part og the ACT-Alliance international mobilisation for climate justice. Pilgrims brought water from different localities from North to South and over to Sweden. From there it is brought through Sweden, Denmark Germany and France to Paris before Cop21.
The pilgrimage for climate justice in Norway, «Klimapilegrim 2015» was officially launched at Cape North June 7. 2015. Water from a melting glacier at Spitsbergen was mixed with water from Cape North and filled into a bottle which became the baton for the relay throughout the country. This water-bottle has then been brought by foot, on bikes, in boats, kayacks and on horseback from place to place, pouring out some water and adding new drops from each place. Pilgrims in Norway have all together travelled a distance of more than 57.000 km from North to South and West to East.
The two Crown Princesses from Norway and Sweden participated in the official seremony and the exchange between the two countries on Saturday the 22. of August. From the border the water bottle was taken over by the swedish pilgrims. The water bottle contiues its journey through Denmark and Germany all the way to Paris.
Who is behind?
Klimapilegrim 2015 was a broad cooperation with several actors, coordinated through «Creation and Sustainability», a ten year joint program between the Christian Council of Norway, Norwegian Church Aid, and the Church of Norway. In addition, the YMCA / YWCA, the National Pilgrim Centre, Changemaker and seven mission organisations has been part of the national coordination.
The water bottle was a very good common symbol for the campaign. It created a great deal of local engagement, by encouraging participants to collect water from local sources and pass this water on to the bottle that will be brought to Paris. The water itself is a good symbol for climate change, for justice and fair distribution of natural resources, for unity and interdependence and for the pilgrimage tradition. Through this, Klimapilegrim has managed to connect environmentalists and activists for climate justice, with people from pilgrimage-communities who are used to more silent and contemplative actions.
What has been achieved?
About 170 arrangements and legs has been arranged all over the country and 7000 participants are registeres in some way or another. Klimapilegrim was present at several festivals during the summer, and people from the environmental movement, trade unions and scientific communities have been involved. The minister of climate and environment and several other politicians have been challenged and contributed in different ways. Also many bishops within the Church of Norway were publicly supporting and participating in the campaign. Other churches and other religions communities have also been engaged.
Visibility in Media
The campaign has been visible in local media almost everywhere it has passed through. Klimapilegrim has also caught the attention of national media, in particular regarding the St. Olavs festival in Trondheim, the gathering of political leaders during in Arendal, and the exchange between Norway and Sweden.
In the weeks to come, the campaign will continue to mobilize more sinatures to the message for Norwegian politicians: «I want a just climate policy where Norway contributes with less emissions and more money» The signatures from Norway will add up to the international campaign for climate justice from Act Alliance. All signatures will be handed over to Christina Figueres in Paris on November 28. prior to the COP 21 negotiations.
We hope and pray that these signatures, and the participation of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world will lead to a more just and ambitous climate agreement in Paris.
Per Ivar Våje
Project-coordinator, Creation and Sustainability
Water as a common symbol