With the UK holding the Presidency, last year’s United Nations (UN) climate conference COP26, in Glasgow, saw a major effort from British and Irish churches and Christian organisation’s to influence the outcomes of the event. As well as attending the conference itself, over 2,200 churches and church groups throughout Britain and Ireland participated in the Climate Sunday Initiative, holding Climate Sunday services, committing to practical action and speaking up for climate justice in the run-up to the conference.
While progress was made at COP26, overall campaigners were disappointed and said that more was needed to keep the planet within the 1.5 degrees of warming to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Please see our round-up of responses to COP26.
The aims of UN COP27, according to the UN, were to build on the outcomes of COP26 to ‘deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency – from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries. Faced with a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations, and increasing extreme weather events, COP27 sought renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement.’
Below are statements and initiatives from the churches and Christian organisations in the run-up to, during and after the conference:
COP27 What happened and what next?
Webinar: 1 December 2022, 1-2:30pm. Faith for the Climate and Christian Aid briefing from key experts on the key issues from COP 27 and priorities for 2023.
Register via Eventbrite.
What happened at the COP27 climate talks?
Watch the recording of CAFOD, partners and experts looking back at the COP27 talks and looking forward to how the outcomes will affect the future of our common home. The webinar took place on 24 November 2022.
Watch again (registration required)
10 Minutes on: what happened at COP27
What happened at the conference and where does that leave us on our journey towards climate justice? Hannah and Steve, from JPIT, chat through some of the wins and losses of the conference, including a resolution around loss and damage. Listen to the podcast.
Fulfil promises and keep 1.5C alive, Quakers urge UK government
The announcement of a new fund for loss and damage at COP27 was “a moment of extraordinary significance for climate justice”, Quakers have said, but the UK government must take urgent action on oil and gas to limit further impacts. Full statement.
Statement on the conclusion of COP27
The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) has published a statement by The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church saying that while they are grateful for the vital commitment to establish a Loss and Damage facility, policies implemented so far suggest we could be heading for a catastrophic 2.7 degrees of warming. Full statement.
Christian Aid statement on COP27
Christian Aid says that the loss and damage fund is a victory for the vulnerable but fossil fuels remain the elephant in the room: ‘Everyone knows we need to phase out the cause of the climate crisis and until countries actually start doing it, the world will remain on a perilous path.’ Full statement.
Watch the recording: Climate justice in the Arctic
Quakers in Britain co-hosted a side event at COP27 on climate justice in the Arctic, on 17 November 2022, looking at rights-based approaches in climate action, the latest Arctic science/tipping points, and native voices discussing loss and damage. Watch on YouTube.
Christian Aid report: The cost to Africa
Christian Aid has published a study highlighting the devastating economic impact climate change will inflict on the African continent, arguing that much more ambitious climate finance is needed to address climate impacts relating to adaptation and Loss and Damage. Download from the Christian Aid website.
WCC calls on governments to deliver more ambitious commitments and effective action
‘COP 27 is a critical occasion for governments to together re-envision, develop, commit to and implement a roadmap towards a fossil fuel-free, post-growth, equitable and sustainable tomorrow, and to tackle the greatest existential challenge to life on the planet’, says the World Council of Churches (WCC). Read the full statement on the WCC website.
What we need to happen at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt
Webinar recording: On Mon 7 Nov 22, CAFOD partners and experts at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt discussed what action leaders must take to tackle the climate crisis and care for our common home.
Watch recording (registration required).
Christian Aid calls for international climate fund
Christian Aid is calling for the creation of an international climate fund, paid for by polluters and governments. Creating this fund can pay for the damage caused by the climate crisis, tackle inequality, and help people build a life free from poverty and injustice, says CA. Please see Christian Aid’s COP27 coverage, including a Loss and Damage petition.
Global day of Action – 12 November 2022
A global day of action was held on 12 November 2022 by environmental coalitions, including the UK-based Climate Justice Coalition. ‘Mass mobilisations’ were planned in cities across Britain and Ireland.
Green Christian prayers for COP27
Ahead of its Annual Members’ Meeting on Saturday 12 November, Green Christian held prayers for COP27, for all the people involved and especially for those already impacted by climate catastrophes. Please see the Green Christian website.
Archbishop of Canterbury calls for climate justice
Ahead of COP27, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, issued a statement saying ‘…we are perilously near the point of no return…The climate emergency is an existential global threat that requires a global response, with radical action, imagination and justice. Let us together see justice done, so that countries can access new and fair finance for the loss and damage caused by climate change.’
Catholic environment Bishop calls for urgent action at COP27
Lead Bishop for the Environment for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Bishop John Arnold, has challenged the UN climate summit attendees to develop solutions to the ‘defining challenge of our generation’. Please see the full statement.
Shared call to prayer for COP27
Baptist Union Environment Network (BUEN) and the John Ray Initiative (JRI) have prepared prayer points for COP27 available on the Baptists Together website.
Take action on the climate crisis
CAFOD is asking you to email the UK Prime Minister to ‘stop the COP-out at COP27’. CAFOD says that although progress was made at last year’s COP26, it wasn’t enough – too many cans were kicked down the road.
You can email the PM via the CAFOD website.
A virtual journey from Scotland (COP26) to Egypt (COP27) , represented by hybrid or virtual events in each of the countries on the way. Those encouraging supporters to take part include Eco-Congregation Scotland.
Find out how to take part on the Walk2COP27 website.