On The Calendar
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Justice & Peace:
Praying for the Climate Emergency
Christian Aid: Call to Action
Thank you to everyone who has donated to Christian Aid this year and continued to pray for those affected by the Climate Emergency. Now Christian Aid is calling on us to take action and sign a petition asking the UK Government to use its role as host of the G7 and UN climate Summit, COP26 to:
As the UK government responds to the social and economic impacts of coronavirus, it could go back to business as usual, making the climate crisis and inequality worse. Or it could take steps towards a better future, where everyone has enough to live life to the full, free from devastating climate chaos. The crisis has already arrived in the lives of millions of people around the world, hurting those who have done the least to cause it. Time is running out to limit the worst impacts of climate breakdown for millions more. We must make our voices heard.
From now on, every moment matters and every action counts in the fight for climate justice.
To sign the petition, go to the Christian Aid website by clicking on the link below or following the link on our church website or Facebook page:
Join us each Monday from your home as we pray for Climate Justice until the COP 26 Climate talks in November as part of the Christian Aid prayer chain.
God of love, show us our place in this world as the channels of your love for all creatures of this earth. Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. Fill us with your power and light, help us to protect your creation, and build a world of justice, peace, love and beauty. Amen.
How can we respond to the Climate Emergency?
Here is the text of a model letter to send to your MP about COP26 (the link to a Word version is below):
Rt Hon [insert name] MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Dear Mr/Ms [insert surname] MP,
I am writing as a constituent of yours to ask you to step up your action for climate justice in advance of the critically important COP26 UN climate talks in early November in Glasgow. My specific request is that you write a letter to the Prime Minister and to COP26 President Alok Sharma on the issues laid out in this letter and in more detail in the [enclosed/attached] briefing from Christian Aid.
[If applicable, insert: I would like to meet with you in the coming weeks to discuss these matters further, either face-to-face or virtually on zoom. Please let me know when this would be possible.]
As host of COP26, the UK Government has a unique and historic opportunity to hold world leaders to account and ensure they commit to the ambitious action urgently needed to deal with the climate crisis. The world is also looking to show genuine leadership and take meaningful action domestically, too. As well as keeping global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, world leaders must fulfil and surpass their promises to those hit hardest by the climate crisis in the poorest and most climate-vulnerable communities. This is an issue of justice, these communities have contributed the least to the climate crisis and yet they are bearing the brunt of it ,especially women and people of colour.
Following the recent G7 and G20 I am very concerned about the lack of progress so far in the UK Government’s preparatory discussions with world leaders in these four areas:
Climate finance: Richer countries agreed at the climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009 that they would raise $100bn a year for poorer countries by 2020 to deal with the climate crisis. But this promise has been broken. Meanwhile, the recent cuts to the UK aid budget sends a contradictory message to donor countries at the very time the UK government should be using its diplomatic pressure to persuade other donor countries to provide more money for climate finance.
The Government must press rich countries to come up with a concrete plan to finally deliver the $100bn promise this year, and a process for agreeing a new and more ambitious climate finance deal from 2025 onwards. The Government must also reverse the UK aid cuts.
Loss & Damage: The UK must facilitate a constructive process that concretely advance action on loss and damage at COP26 – including scaling up finance to address loss and damage, and acknowledging it as the third pillar of climate action on a par with mitigation and adaptation. Since almost no progress has been made towards this, the Government must act urgently to unlock the impasse.
Debt cancellation: Climate-vulnerable countries and the world’s poorest countries face crippling levels of debt which have risen sharply as a result of the pandemic. Yet 74% of international climate finance is offered in the form of loans, thereby adding to these debts which hit the poorest the hardest. These countries’ debts need to be cancelled and climate finance provided in the form of grants not loans.
A failure to address these three issues poses a threat to hundreds of millions of people. It also threatens to derail the COP26 talks altogether, as many countries may refuse to agree to ambitious action to mitigate global heating unless these issues of justice and resources are addressed. Please raise these issues with the Prime Minister and with COP President Alok Sharma as soon as possible.
[Insert your name, address and contact details – ie email address]
Everyone is hoping that 2021 will be a better year than 2020.
There is still some way to go before the end of the coronavirus pandemic, but with the vaccine rollout beginning in the UK, plans are being drawn up for life post-Covid.
Yet the rush to return to normal risks leaving many of the world’s problems unsolved.
So this year Christians everywhere are campaigning to reclaim our common home – making sure the recovery from the pandemic includes everyone and tackles global poverty, injustice and the climate crisis.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said that responding to Climate Change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation. Pope Francis has told Catholics that climate change is the greatest threat to life our Earth has ever seen – and that it is caused by humans. As CAFOD says, Climate change affects our health, our homes, our heritage and our beautiful landscapes. Our community centres where we meet, our sports fields where we play and our places of pilgrimage where we reflect. It also ruins the work we do to fight poverty. Enough. Together, we can turn the tide. We can call our politicians to go further and faster with emission cuts. We can treat our common home with respect and choose to live sustainably. The Methodist Church has said together we can raise our voices to call for ambitious change nationally and internationally, as well as seeking it in our own communities. Together, churches can commit to the kind of future we want to see.
Why the eyes of the world will be on the UK in 2021
The UK government will be hosting two major international meetings this year.
The G7 summit will bring together the heads of government from seven of the world’s richest countries and will take place in summer 2021.
The UK will also be hosting the UN ‘COP26’ climate talks in Glasgow between 1-12 November 2021. This will be the largest gathering of world leaders ever to take place on British soil.
Both of the conferences will be crucial moments for leaders to tackle the climate crisis and cancel unjust debts for developing countries.
And with the UK taking on the G7 and COP26 presidency, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be under pressure to make sure world leaders at the talks show the ambition needed for a transformative global recovery from the pandemic.
2021 is the year to reclaim our common home
All of our lives have been turned upside down in the past year and we all want to go back to normal as soon as possible.
But the last thing we want to do is to go back to the injustices and inequalities of the ‘old’ normal which have made this crisis even worse.
We in the UK have a massive part to play in building a better normal, calling on Boris Johnson to show the leadership we desperately need at the key meetings the UK is hosting this year.
We are all in the same boat as one global family. If we’re going to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, that is the crucial lesson we need to take forward into 2021.