Through Climate Sunday, more than 2,200 churches have held climate-focused services, committed to long term action in their community through schemes including Eco Church, and raised their voices to advocate for world leaders to take bold action to address climate change. COP26 may be over, but churches will still have a critical role to play in holding the government to account in the delivery of promises made in Glasgow. But how?
First of all, by implementing the commitments they have made through Climate Sunday and, to tell their MP about it, showing that they’re prepared to take action to reduce their carbon emissions and inviting political leaders to follow suit. Resources and information about how to do this will continue to be available through the Climate Sunday legacy website.
Secondly, we’d also encourage churches to continue to use their voice to advocate for action on the climate. It is important that we don’t lose momentum after COP26, particularly as the UK government remains the steward of the agreement until COP27 in Egypt, with responsibility to ensure that the agreements made in Glasgow are implemented and built upon in the year ahead. We’d encourage you to advocate on two particular issues:
- Ending fossil fuel development in the UK. The Glasgow Climate Pact was the first agreement to recognise the importance of getting the global economy off fossil fuels, and it’s important that the UK government leads the way by implementing this at home.
- Compensating poor countries for the irreparable damage of climate change. More often than not, it’s the countries who have done the least to cause the climate crisis who are disproportionately dealing with climate disasters. The UK government must take the lead in setting up a financial mechanism to compensate countries on the irreparable damage done by climate change, often referred to as ‘loss and damage’.
The Climate Sunday coalition has compiled a list of things you can do next as churches and individuals, to follow up on COP26 and Climate Sunday. You can find it here.
And finally, churches can lead the way in an ‘ecological conversion’. By this, we mean a ‘transformation of hearts and minds toward greater love of God, each other, and creation. It is a process of acknowledging our contribution to the social and ecological crisis and acting in ways that nurture communion: healing and renewing our common home’ (Laudato Si Movement). The church can play a prophetic role in turning a disaster into an opportunity for a better way of living.
So our message to churches as the Climate Sunday campaign closes is: keep exploring creation care in your services, keep working on your environmental commitments in your local path, keep campaigning and asking our politicians to do better for our planet and its people.
Find the Climate Sunday closing webinar here.