The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31st October to 12th November this year. Following the UN Report on Climate Change in August this year, which painted a bleak picture of global warming, increased extreme weather patterns around the globe and of time running out to curb some of the worst effects of climate change, the conference in Glasgow has its work cut out. The goals of the conference are for countries to commit to ambitious emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century – this includes commitments to accelerate the phase-out of coal, curtailing deforestation, switching to electric vehicles and encouraging investment in renewables; protecting vulnerable communities and natural habitats; mobilizing finance; and accelerate collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.
This matters to all humanity but, as people of faith, we have a particular stake in the climate change conversation. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God’s plan for humanity included care for the environment from the first moment humans appeared on the planet. For too long humanity has seen itself as both the pinnacle of all life-forms and, therefore, as having the right to use, abuse and dispose of the rest of creation as we please. Such cavalier selfishness has finally come around to bite us in the proverbial. And Christianity must admit its complicity. Much of our faith-talk for centuries has focused on God’s salvation plan for the individual human being. It’s not that we were wrong – God, in Christ, does have a deep and steadfast love for each individual human being – it’s just that we weren’t always telling the whole story.
God’s love for us was never the whole story. God’s invitation was always that as God’s beloved ones, we should join God in the Divine task of loving and caring for the whole of the creation.
COUNTDOWN TO COP26
In the coming days between now and the conference, we will be posting information which, we hope, will set the scene and emphasise the importance of this event. During “COP fortnight”, we will post additional information as it becomes available. Please check-in regularly to this page for the latest news.
COP26 High-level agenda: this gives you an idea of what is happening each day. You can view this agenda here.
Climate countdown: Big Dreams Little Footprints and Wild Planet Explorers are counting down the weeks with a weekly Activity-Action post for families. These are fun activity ideas and practical actions that families can take in the lead up to COP26. Please click this link for details.
Soft plastics recycling: Did you know that you can now recycle soft plastics at the Co-op?