From our COP27 policy briefing, to a webinar, daily prayer points, and participating in the Global Day of Action, A Rocha UK designed tools to engage Christians and churches in climate and nature issues in the lead up to and during COP27. We will also be providing resources for COP15 on Biodiversity.
COP27 made history by establishing a new ‘loss and damage’ fund to support countries at the frontline of the climate crisis. This was the result of decades of lobbying by small island states and other climate vulnerable nations, marking a significant move forward for climate justice. Despite this being a historic breakthrough, there is still much detail to work out about who will fund it. There is also significant disappointment that COP27’s final agreement failed to agree a ‘phase out’ of fossil fuels, which many had hoped for, to build fast on last year’s agreement to ‘phase down’ the use of coal.
If the agreed goal of as-close-as-possible-to-1.5 degrees was on shaky ground when the conference began, it’s looking like an impossible dream now COP27 is over. However, every degree of warming matters, which is why it’s absolutely crucial to keep putting pressure on our government to take the lead on climate action. Not only to implement the agreements already made at COP27, COP26 and as far back as the Paris Agreement, but build on them to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Ahead of the conference, we produced a policy briefing highlighting the main issues on the agenda and outlining our key asks to the UK government as well as suggesting action for individuals and churches. Furthermore, on the eve of the summit’s ‘Nature Day’, we hosted a webinar on COP27 and nature-based solutions to the climate crisis. This took an in depth look at some of the risks and opportunities found in nature for mitigating climate change and adapting to it. As part of this webinar, we heard from A Rocha Ghana, who were at COP27 lobbying to protect the Atewa Forest, a key biodiversity hotspot in Ghana, under threat from mining.
We also wanted to create opportunities for people to come together and take action in community. So, on the Global Day of Action on Saturday 12 November, we joined with other faith groups, NGOs and activists in London and Swansea calling for urgent action to address the climate crisis.
We know that prayer sustains us, so throughout COP27 we posted a daily prayer for the negotiations on our social media. These incorporated key issues on the table and included prayers for the activists, observers and delegates present at the negotiations, and for ambitious targets and agreements. Now that the conference is over, it is time to keep praying for governments to follow through on the promises made in Egypt and to scale up ambition on climate action back at home.
COP15 on Biodiversity is this year’s other big international environmental summit, to be held in Canada from 7-19 December. A Rocha UK is producing another suite of resources and tools to help supporters and churches pray and act effectively about the summit. These can be found here.