A quick reminder: the United Nations COP26 climate summit, which runs from 31 October to 12 November in Glasgow (‘the Dear Green Place’), has been described as a “turning point for humanity” and “the most consequential summit… ever”. ‘COP’ stands for ‘Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change’.
Getting up to speed
Whether you believe the hype or have more grounded hopes and prayers for the gathering, take some time to get up to speed, if you haven’t already, with what COP26 is and what churches worldwide hope will happen there.
Got 3 minutes?
Watch a short video from the ecumenical Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) on what COP26 is and why churches are getting involved. It’s on the JPIT website at www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/cop26.
Got 10 minutes?
Read the JPIT briefing on what is happening at COP26 and the key issues on which they think world leaders and the UK should take action. (Same web page as above.)
Global Day of Action
On Saturday 6 November, join people from around the world, marching through major cities, gathering in their local communities, and making their voices heard online for climate justice. In Glasgow, Christian Aid supporters will walk together with partner faith organisations, meeting at Kelvingrove Park from 11.30am. The demonstration will then march to Glasgow Green for a rally at 3pm. If you’re planning to join, click ‘going’ on the Christian Aid Facebook event.
A prayer for real partnership
The Revd David Coleman, Environmental Chaplain for Eco Congregation Scotland, has written a prayer we can all use, whether we’re marching or not.
as our species gathers
in your Dear Green Place,
constrained by the damage injustice has wrought:
so strengthen our hope;
our resilience to disappointment.
Move us on from ‘stewardship’ to partnership
with the Life of the world,
giving thanks for every small step;
stirring our impatience for more.
Show us your way of hospitality:
of warning and encouragement
for those who come and those left far behind:
Christ, in the stranger’s guise.
When all the politicians, negotiators, decision makers, NGOs, lobbyists, protestors, journalists, caterers, entertainers, hopers and prayers have gone home – whatever is decided, whatever is kicked into the long grass, whatever hopes are raised, whichever cynics are vindicated. . . there will be so much work still to do.
What will that work look like for us?
In his presentation on our own Climate Sunday, Alex Peden gathered suggestions from those participating in the discussion. Lest we forget, here they are!
Lest we forget, here they are!
Question: Can you think of one thing individuals can do to tackle climate change that you think more people should know about?
- “Think about cooking equipment e.g. buy a steamer; keep the lid on the saucepan; a flask by the kettle would allow you to keep any unused boiled water hot (and only boil what you need!)“
- “Switch your gas/electric account to a Green provider”
- “Enjoy the journey when travelling on public transport”
- “Turn down the thermostats”
- “Have a kitchen garden”
- “Cut your use of single-use plastics”
- “Plant more trees”
- “Use peat free compost”
- “Instead of taking a plane to go on holiday, make the journey by train or ferry and enjoy that as part of the holiday”
It was also observed that –
- “We should be aware of the numbers of children we have worldwide, particularly in developed countries – each child carries a carbon footprint”
- “Tighter government regulation on house building would help, ensuring that all new homes are carbon neutral right from the start”
- “Nuclear fusion may be a future option for heating”
Question: What action would you most want your church / council/ government to take in response to climate change?
Comments included –
- “Government should value people’s lives over profit”
- “Continuing meetings via Zoom will reduce travel”
- “Issues/solutions can be different for individuals depending where they live, e.g. in a block of flats”
- “Tidal energy is not given enough recognition”
- “AUC may need to give serious consideration to the suitability of its building (though recognising the listing of buildings brings its own issues)”
- “There is a case for much stronger regulation, particularly on business, for energy disclosure; and for a price on carbon usage that is high enough ‘to hurt’ e.g. charging a much higher price for fuel – £5/litre?”
- “Governments should be held to account
Alex ended his presentation by asking us to:
- Be educated on the subject
- Remember that every little helps
- Be aware things are happening
- Never give up