COP28 is the 28th meeting of the Conference of Parties on climate change, which starts on 30 November and runs for 12 days. This year, the United Nations climate change conference is being held in the United Arab Emirates.
The Church of England has produced a handy guide to help churches understand what is happening at this year’s conference and how they can get involved.
The Revd Cate Williams, Environmental Engagement Officer at the Diocese of Gloucester, says, “The annual COP conferences are significant in forming international agreements on tackling climate change. The landmark Paris conferences in 2015 agreed to aim to limit global temperature warming to no more than 1.5 degrees. The last conference made significant strides on ‘loss and damage’ which is about international support for those nations most affected by climate change.
“While the conferences can’t change everything alone – both local and national initiatives need to align too – they remain a significant part of the overall push to limit the damage. We very much encourage churches to engage with these national CofE resources, as part of our remit to care for the gift God has given us in Creation, as well as our care for those most vulnerable worldwide.”
The guide offers three areas of focus, to help churches engage with COP28.
In the guide there are ideas and resources for praying for the people and countries impacted by climate change, the leaders and those involved in the conference.
CAFOD have also prepared some specific prayers which you could use in church on the Sundays during COP28: https://cafod.org.uk/pray/prayer-resources/cop28-prayer
Green Christian will also be holding a time of prayer every morning at 8am on Zoom during COP28. Find out how to join in here: https://greenchristian.org.uk/prayer-for-cop28-2/
Churches could individually or together write to their MP, echoing the things which the Anglican Communion is calling for:
• the phasing out of fossil fuels
• no new fossil fuel extraction or exploration projects and
• funds to help countries adapt to the changing climate, and commitment to the Loss and Damage fund. (A template for emailing your MP about the Loss and Damage fund can be found here: https://makepolluterspay.co.uk/email-your-mp)
You can also help to raise awareness by sharing items about COP28 on your social media or during your church services. Find out more about how to talk to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues about the climate emergency here: https://climateoutreach.org/britain-talks-climate/summary
Read the Church of England’s COP28 guide here: cop28-guide.pdf (churchofengland.org)