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Faith and Solidarity on the road through COP26

“We need to act together

to inspire and energize each other.” 

-Joint Appeal for COP26 UN Climate Change Summit 
signed by around 40 faith leaders including Pope Francis, October 4, 2021


People of faith led, organized, collaborated and participated in many acts of justice and solidarity during the critical time leading up to and throughout the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 Oct. - 13 Nov. 

A joint ecumenical delegation of The United Church of Canada and For the Love of Creation, a Canadian faith-based initiative for climate justice, virtually attended COP26 and delegation members shared their experiences in a series of blog posts

In her reflection at the end of COP26, Karri Munn-Venn with Citizens for Public Justice concluded that “as we look to the future, it is abundantly clear that one,much more needs to be done, and two, we are making a difference through our actions, our faithful witness, our amplification of the demands from the Global South, and our advocacy for climate justice.”

Some highlights of justice and solidarity in action along the way to COP26 

Around 40 leaders from the world’s diverse religions signed a joint appeal at the "Faith and Science: Towards COP26" meeting hosted by the Vatican on October 4th, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. The joint appeal called world leaders to greater ambition at the UN Climate Change Conference including a 1.5°C limit to global warming, substantial financial support for vulnerable countries, and no more biodiversity loss. Recalling that “care for the earth and for others is a key tenet of all our traditions” they committed to taking greater action within their own religious traditions and urged everyone on the planet to join in healing our common home.

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May We Not Waste This Moment

“This is the first time that the three of us feel compelled to address together the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on persistent poverty, and the importance of global cooperation. Together, on behalf of our communities, we appeal to the heart and mind of every Christian, every believer and every person of good will. We pray for our leaders who will gather in Glasgow to decide the future of our planet and its people…

All of us—whoever and wherever we are—can play a part in changing
our collective response to the unprecedented threat of
climate change and environmental degradation.”

“A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation.” September 2021, Pope Francis,
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury.

“May we not waste this moment”

The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion joined together in a historic “urgent appeal for the future of the planet” leading up to the two significant United Nations conferences taking place this fall on biodiversity and climate change. This is a critical time for calling on global leaders to take the urgent action needed to protect our common home.

In a joint message for the Season of Creation, Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Justin Welby call on everyone to do their part in responding together ”to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation”. They warn that climate change is “an immediate and urgent matter of survival” which “tomorrow could be worse” for the children and teenagers of today. The statement emphasizes the profound injustice that the worst consequences of biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are affecting the poorest on the planet who have been least responsible for causing them. 

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Laudato Si’ Week 2021 launches new initiatives for prayer and action

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics participated in Laudato Si’ Week May 16 – 25 to celebrate six years of progress bringing to life Pope Francis’ letter Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. Pope Francis invited Catholics to participate in Laudato Si’ Week which was sponsored by the Vatican and facilitated by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) in cooperation with many partners. This year’s theme was “for we know that things can change” (LS#13).

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