4 Shifts Campaign

Weekly Action - 18 May 2024 - Climate Tree Ring Study


2023: hottest year for 2000 years

A new study of temperature records contained in tree rings has found that the summer of 2023 was the hottest for more than 2000 years.[1]  Previous studies have already confirmed that on almost every day in 2023 the global average temperature exceeded 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial norm (the level scientists warn the world must stay below to avoid the worst impacts of climate change).  And that 2023 was the hottest year on record since records began in 1880.  This latest study pushes that record back by almost 1900 years, confirming 2023 as the hottest summer since the time of Jesus.  This followed straight on from the previous hottest year ever in 2022.[2]  Globally the last 9 years have all been the hottest years on record.[3]  The warming was felt not just in one region but right across the world.  Furthermore, 2023 did not just exceed previous records by a small margin, but by a significant amount.  Since July almost every day was the hottest day on record for the time of year.  More than 200 days last year saw a record broken for global temperature.  At sea it was even worse, with world sea surface temperatures broken every day since 4 May, and Antarctic sea ice at its lowest ever level.  These extreme temperature rises of recent years are a direct result of human induced climate change, primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels. 


Urgent action needed on climate change

Urgent action by governments on climate change is desperately needed.  In recent years the impacts of climate change around the world have included heatwaves, droughts, floods, cyclones, wildfires, landslides, massive polar melting, the melting of the world’s glaciers, sea-level rise, the devastation of coral systems, mass food and fresh water shortages, ill health, huge negative economic impacts, conflicts over scarce resources, the creation of huge numbers of climate refugees, and much more.  The last eighteen months have seen a massive and tragic food crisis in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, heatwaves across Europe, the US and the northern hemisphere, devastating floods in Pakistan, New Zealand, the UK, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and much more, all as a result of global climate change.  This is devastating the lives of ordinary people like Gentille Ndagijimana, who the BBC interviewed after tragic climate floods in DR Congo last year, “I don't have any more relatives, and I don't have a farm, I have nothing.  I must look for a place to sleep.  I am only left with my husband.  But all our children are dead” she said.[4]  It is people like Gentille and her husband, living in developing countries like DR Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Pakistan, whose greenhouse gas emissions are a fraction of those of more developed nations, who have done the least to cause climate change, but are being hit the hardest by it. 


As Christians what should we do about it?

The Bible tells us that as Christians we should support all those in need, as it says in the book of Proverbs, “The righteous care about justice for the poor” (Prov 29: 7).  The Bible also tells us to protect God’s amazing creation.  It belongs to him, not us, he cares for it and loves it, and as we read in Genesis, instructs us to "take care of it” (Gen 2: 15).  We therefore must tackle climate change in order to support the world’s poorest countries and communities being devastated by it, and because we care for God’s creation.  This means we need to urgently get out of fossil fuels, which are driving global climate change, and instead shift to 100% clean renewable energy, which does not lead to climate change, and is cheaper as well.  Arise’s 4 Shifts Campaign calls for a rewiring of our global economy to be green and fair, so it still creates the jobs and wealth that lift people out of poverty, but does so without relying on fossil fuels and the overconsumption which is wrecking our planet. 

Will you take action as part of Arise’s 4 Shifts campaign this week and call for an urgent shift to a clean energy economy?


Take Action

Speak out in advocacy

Write to Claire Coutinho MP, the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, in your own words to ask the UK to play a leading role in dramatically scaling up momentum on climate action.

  • Urge the UK government to call for a strengthening of the global Paris Agreement on climate change to shift to zero emissions and 100% clean renewable energy, and ban the use of fossil fuels in every nation by 2030. 
  • Urge the UK to pass national legislation to bring this into effect in the UK, and implement it in every sector (energy, transport, buildings, industry etc.) 

You can write to her at:

Claire Coutinho MP
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
1 Victoria Street


Pray for people around the world who are being impacted by climate change.  Pray for housing and shelter, food, medical care, new jobs, and livelihoods that are resilient to climate change.  Pray for action from the UK government to rapidly shift the economy out of fossil fuels and into 100% clean renewable energy.


Give to Christian organisations like Cafod, Christian Aid, Tearfund or World Vision who are supporting the poorest communities impacted by climate change around the world.

Ethical Consumption

Research where your pensions and savings are invested, if you have them.  Contact your bank about switching them out of funds that invest in fossil fuels that are causing climate change and into funds that support clean renewable energy.

Practical Action

Reduce your own energy use by using cars less, and walking, cycling or using public transport more.  If you fly, consider reducing or ending entirely the number of flights you take, and holidaying at home, not abroad.


Encourage us and others by letting us know what actions you have taken – message us at info@ariseuk.org, or via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.


Find out more

It’s great to take this action as individual Christians, but even better to come together with others to pray, discuss, worship, learn, have fun and take action together.  Contact Arise if you are interested in joining or starting a local Arise group in your church or area.  If you are already in an Arise group, take this action to your wider church, and get them all to do it too.

Find out more about why the world needs 4 Shifts to transition to a green and fair global economy in Arise’s 4 Shifts Report, and how this forms part of God’s bigger vision for our world in the Arise Manifesto.

Found this action online, or sent it by a friend?  Sign up to receive weekly actions from Arise directly.


[1] Summer 2023 the hottest in 2,000 years, study of tree rings finds, ITV, (15 May 2024), https://www.itv.com/news/2024-05-15/summer-2023-the-hottest-in-2000-years-tree-ring-study-finds

[2] 2023 confirmed as world’s hottest year on record, BBC, (10 Jan 2024), https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-67861954

[3] Eight warmest years on record witness upsurge in climate change impacts, World Meteorological Organization, (6 Nov 2022), https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/eight-warmest-years-record-witness-upsurge-climate-change-impacts

[4] DR Congo floods: ‘Miracle’ as two floating babies survive on Lake Kivu, BBC, (10 May 2023), https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-65545434​​​​​​

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