With less than 100 days to go until COP26 – the critical international climate negotiations which the UK government will host and chair in Glasgow in November 2021 – a broad coalition of Christian denominations and charities is calling on all churches to hold a ‘Climate Sunday’ and commit to effective action themselves, before talks begin.
So far, more than 1,500 churches across Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland are taking part and hundreds more, including several cathedrals, are planning to do so.
Fr Mike Freyne, Dunkeld’s spokesperson for Missions and Social Justice highlighted concerns about the speed of meeting the UK’s own emissions targets as well as the UK’s support for poorer nations under pressure to keep to the agenda being set by the world’s richest countries. Fr Mike drew the attention of parishes across the diocese to the Climate Sunday Initiate and invited them to contribute either through the online petition or by writing to the Prime Minister.
“This widespread take up of the initiative across diverse church traditions indicates a growing commitment by churches to act on climate change, and to demand that the government act too. The Climate Sunday Initiative wants to see Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government bring out domestic policies before the international conference, to get the UK back on track with it’s own emissions targets. It is also calling on the government, in its role as chair of COP26, to seek faster and deeper global emissions cuts and the delivery of long-promised finance to help poorer countries adapt to the climate disruption which they are already experiencing.”
“There is deep concern among climate specialists within the churches and charities that the UK government is undermining its influence to deliver a successful COP26 outcome by failing to implement policies to achieve the UK’s own emissions targets and by slashing the UK’s overseas aid budget, so needs to take rapid action before COP to restore its own credibility as a ‘climate leader’.”
“The Climate Sunday initiative is the broadest-based church response to the climate crisis in the UK in the run-up to COP26. Participating churches are asked to do three things: hold a climate-focused service to explore the science and theology around addressing human-caused climate disruption; commit to taking ongoing practical action themselves, and sign a joint call for the government to act – the Time is Now Declaration.”
“Please consider going to the site https://thetimeisnow.uk/ declaration and sign as an individual or as a parish.”
.”…also please invite your parishioners and those leading Justice and Peace groups in your parish to use the following template to write to the Prime Minister.”
Dear Prime Minister,
The time is now to lead the UK towards a healthier, greener, fairer future. Ahead of hosting the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow in 2021, we can build back better together if we:
• Unleash a clean energy revolution that boosts jobs across the UK, making our transport, power and housing fit for the future
• Protect, restore and expand our green and wild spaces; allowing nature to thrive, taking carbon from the air and boosting the nation’s health
• Leave no one behind by increasing support to those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change at home and abroad
The UK must lead the world by ensuring our recovery gets us on track to net-zero emissions and limits the rise in global temperature to 1.5oC. Our best chance of building a resilient economy goes hand in hand with tackling climate change.
We are ready to play our part, and we call on you to join us.