British religious leaders call for action on climate change ahead of COP26
Scottish and British religious leaders call on governments to take transformational climate action at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
By Lisa Zengarini
While Climate margin week, a virtual event taking place in Scotland from September 18-26 ahead of COP26, more than 50 religious leaders signed a joint statement urging those in power to move the Paris Agreement forward.
The agreement was adopted at COP21 in 2015 by the 196 parties present, committing them to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Urgent action is needed to avert the threat of climate change
Reminding governments of their commitments and article 17 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights to protect the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity, signed in 2005, the “Glasgow Multi-Faith Declaration” calls on them to take the “urgent measures necessary to avoid loss, damage and forced migration threatened by climate change”.
The signatories stress that “the burden of loss and damage weighs most heavily on people living in poverty, especially women and children.”
Working to create a positive vision for 2050
They therefore call on governments “to work together and with others to create a positive vision for 2050”.
“Tackling climate change,” religious leaders say, “is not only an opportunity to stop burning fossil fuels, but also: to get cleaner air and water; reduce food waste; ensure a fair and equitable sharing of the earth’s resources; and to protect the habitats we share with all other life on which we also depend for health. “
Commitment to advocate for justice
For their part, British religious leaders reiterate their commitment to meet this challenge by reflecting deeply in prayer “to discern how to care for the earth and for each other”.
This care, they say, includes bringing about “transformational change” in their own lives and in the lives of their communities, to be “advocates of justice” and to call upon those who exercise power and influence “to make the transition to a fair and green economy. a priority and to commit to achieving scientific goals aligned with a healthy, resilient and zero-emission future ”.
Give hope for the future
“Through our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change the way we ensure a quality of life that all can share, and we must give hope to people of all ages, everywhere, including future generations. », Add the religious leaders. , stressing the need for those in power to “understand the vital role they have to play at COP26 in Glasgow”.
“Our collective energy and prayers will accompany those working for a positive result,” the Declaration concludes.
Signatories to the Glasgow Declaration include Bishop Brian McGee, Chairman of the Scottish Catholic Bishops Committee for Interfaith Dialogue, and Bishop John Arnold, Environment Officer for the Conference of Catholic Bishops of England and the Country of Wales (CBCEW).