The Green Party is not expected to win in the Edinburgh constituency where Alison Proud lives. But as a member of Christian Climate Action, Alison says voting for the environment still counts, and is motivated by her Christian faith

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I have voted already. I’ve had a postal vote for years, so when it arrived last week, I knew the routine. Prone to procrastination, I thought I’d better get it done straight away. A cross in the box for the Green party. A vote to say the climate crisis and the environment is the most important issue for me as a Christian.

A few months ago, I met my MP in her office. It’s on a stretch of road that has experienced a big increase in flooding over recent years. A neighbouring office has a sign up: “Permanently closed due to continual flooding”. With warmer air holding more water, rain and flooding is ever increasing. The closed office is just another casualty of the climate crisis.

I can send a message that God’s creation should be cared for

I shared my concerns with my MP. What’s going to happen to property and infrastructure when sea levels rise and they’re flooded? Was she concerned that UK parliament’s climate change committee has “low confidence” that we’ll meet our 2030 carbon emission targets? Did the record-breaking heat waves, severe floods, droughts and wildfires worry her, too?

My MP seemed uncomfortable as she listened to my concerns. It’s not a happy place to be, contemplating where we are and the future that is heading our way. It is unsettling. It is upsetting. Climate anxiety and climate grief are very real. I can only face the truth with the strength that my Christian faith gives me.

Rising temperatures

Back in 2019, I was with fellow Christian Climate Action activists in London, taking part in the Extinction Rebellion protests. It was a special time. I remember the Bishop of Colchester giving us communion under a tree by the river Thames, just behind the protest lines.

At the time, people hoped for swift action from governments to keep global warming below +1.5 C compared to pre-industrial times. Alas, five years later, the scientific consensus is that we’ve gone well past that - and temperatures are still increasing.

We can do this, for nothing is impossible with God

But, very importantly, it is still worth trying our absolute best. The lower we can keep the global temperature increase, the less terrible the outcome for those living on earth. We can do this, for nothing is impossible with God.

All votes count

I voted Green because of love. Love for my family, friends and neighbours - both near and far. Love for vulnerable people living in areas prone to drought; coastal and island communities where families are losing their homes, displaced. Love for this beautiful, wonderful, incredible planet with the wonders of the sea, the plants, the insects, the birds and the bees. Love for my heavenly Father who has called me to be a steward of his precious creation.

The Green party aren’t going to win here in my constituency. But my vote still counts, because God sees who I vote for.

Our Father in Heaven has given us a beautiful world to live in. The creation of our incredible planet proclaims the glory of God. But in our desire for money, profit and an easy life, we have damaged and destroyed so much - on land, sea and in the atmosphere - and we are headed for worse.

If I think deeply about this, it hurts. I have contributed to this damage with my lifestyle. I want to lament and change, but it is hard and I am not without sin. But one thing I can do is vote Green. I can send a message that God’s creation should be cared for, that we must reduce carbon emissions quickly, and minimise the climate crisis loss and chaos in the coming decades.