Statement on the conclusion of the COP27 Climate Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

Monday 21 November
The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church.

While we are extremely conscious of the cost-of-living crisis and the economic bearing it is having here in the UK, we cannot ignore the tremendous impact of climate change in other parts of the world and overlook our responsibility towards it.  We continue to look to leaders in the UK and across the world to address the climate emergency with a sense of urgency, fairness and justice.

We are grateful for the vital commitment in Sharm el-Sheikh to establish a Loss and Damage facility. All are impacted by climate change.  We have recently seen unprecedented floods in Pakistan and Bangladesh and continued drought in East Africa. Industrialised countries such as Germany and high emitting states such as China have seen rivers drying up. But it is low income countries that are frequently the worst affected by climate related disasters. They simply do not have adequate resources to rebuild shattered infrastructure and livelihoods. COP27 has seen recognition of the need for compensation for loss and damage rise much higher on the global agenda. We commend States and regions, including Scotland, that have committed early funding to support those who have seen their livelihoods or houses destroyed.

As the recent UN Environment Programme report has pointed out, limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees requires global emissions to be cut by 45% by 2030. Policies implemented so far suggest that we could be heading for a catastrophic 2.7 degrees of warming. God’s creation is precious and is vital for the flourishing of all life. We lament the lack of urgency and will to co-operate to address this crisis. COP27 shows that governments have yet to loosen the chains of past practice and vested interests.

World leaders cannot leave this conference believing that they have done enough and must appreciate that there is still much more to do. We pray for a renewed collaboration between people and governments, and that a deeper recognition of our shared humanity might soon lead to the compassionate and just climate action that our world so urgently needs.

Signed by:

Revd Fiona Bennett, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church

Anthony Boateng, Vice-President of the Conference of the Methodist Church

Revd Lynn Green, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain

Revd Dave Gregory, Convenor, Baptist Union Environment Network and Former President, Baptist Union of Great Britain

Revd Graham Thompson, President of the Conference of the Methodist Church

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