Queen Elizabeth II has said climate change poses a threat to the lives of people in the world’s poorest communities.
In a letter to 650 Anglican bishops from across the world, the queen warned “those less able to adapt and adjust” were most at risk from environmental collapse.
“Now, as so often in the past, you have convened during a period of immense challenge for bishops, clergy and lay people around the world, with many of you serving in places of suffering, conflict and trauma,” she said at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, south-east England.
“It is of comfort to me that you do so in the strength of God.
“We also live in a time when the effects of climate change are threatening the lives and livelihoods of many people and communities, not least the poorest and those less able to adapt and adjust.”
The queen said the environment was “a cause close to the heart” of her husband Prince Philip, who died last year, and his interest in the field had been “carried on by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge”.
The Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops is convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury once every 10 years. It is taking place at the University of Kent, Canterbury Cathedral and Lambeth Palace between July 26 and August 8.
Bishops designated Wednesday as a day of prayer, fellowship and reflection on the themes of the environment and sustainable development.
The day includes the launch of the Communion Forest, a worldwide environmental programme to include tree-planting, the creation of wetlands and coastal restoration projects by Anglican provinces, dioceses and churches across the world.
The queen, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England, said in her welcome message: “It is with great pleasure that I send my warm greetings as you continue your meeting in the 15th Lambeth Conference.
“As we all emerge from the pandemic, I know that the conference is taking place at a time of great need for the love of God — both in word and deed.”