COP26: Faith organizations call on world leaders to “step up and deliver”

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addresses COP26 delegates during a UN High-Level Event for Global Climate Action – “Racing to a Better World” – at COP26. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addresses COP26 delegates during a UN High-Level Event for Global Climate Action – “Racing to a Better World” – at COP26. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

Call for urgent and ambitious action for the most vulnerable people and communities

(LWI) – Current negotiation texts at the UN climate conference COP26 are failing in vital points. As COP26 draws to a close, The Lutheran World federations (LWF) joins other faith organizations in an urgent call “for urgent and ambitious action for the most vulnerable people and communities.”

World leaders must “step up and deliver a clear, actionable text that strengthens previous agreements and puts those living on the frontline of the climate crisis at its heart,” the joint statement reads. “The richest, most powerful, and most polluting countries bear a particular responsibility.”

The joint statement explicitly calls on countries to raise their Nationally Determined Contributions towards limiting global warming to 1.5°C every year. Also, they must mobilize a separate and additional funding stream to address climate-induced Loss and Damage. Thirdly, richer governments must fulfill their promises to deliver 100 billion US dollars annually to help poor countries address climate change.

“COP26 has so far not displayed the necessary urgency of action. However, we need bold action to ensure climate justice,” says LWF General Secretary Rev. Anne Burghardt. “As people of faith, we call on all governments to take decisive steps on this very last day of COP26 to avert further climate catastrophes and human suffering.”


Joint statement: Faith leaders call for urgent action at COP26

Time is running out. With the COP26 negotiations hanging in the balance, as Christian leaders and members of the global faith movement for climate justice, led by our sisters and brothers from the Global South, we call for urgent and ambitious action for the most vulnerable people and communities.

Where the current negotiation texts are failing:

  • The current texts remain worryingly unbalanced. While there is progress on mitigation, it is shocking that there is no reference to action needed to address increasing climate impacts.
  • Simply referencing Loss and Damage in the draft decision text without identifying any concrete action is offensive and immoral. The current text not only fails to address a mechanism to deliver action on Loss and Damage; it also does not provide any realistic path to new finance.
  • The texts on finance provide no confidence that the overdue pledge of $100 billion a year in support for poorer countries will be delivered. The commitment to adaptation, as part of that finance pledge, falls significantly short. The current text does not address the fact that most public finance comes in loans, which add to the burden of unsustainable debt for climate-vulnerable countries, nor the challenges on access.

The action we now need:

World leaders must now step up and deliver a clear, actionable text that strengthens previous agreements and puts those living on the frontline of the climate crisis at its heart. The richest, most powerful, and most polluting countries bear a particular responsibility.

We call on leaders at COP26 to preserve all of God’s Creation by:

  • Recognizing the urgency of this crisis, including language in the text that encourages all countries, but especially major emitters, to come forward annually at each COP with new ambition announcements that exceed their current NDC targets.

  • Calling for all Parties to address Loss and Damage by mobilizing a separate and additional funding stream separate to finance for mitigation and adaptation; making Loss and Damage a permanent COP agenda item; and ensuring adequate capacity and resources to support the full operationalization of the Santiago Network by COP27.

  • Richer governments fulfilling their promises and delivering the $100 billion promised for 2020 and increasing it in 2022 and beyond. This must be evenly split between mitigation and adaptation, must be in the form of grants and not loans, and address access issues so the finance reaches those who need it most.

Signatories

  • Rev. Anne Burghardt, General Secretary, Lutheran World Federation
  • Fr Ioan Sauca, Acting General Secretary, The World Council of Churches
  • Bishop Thomas Schirrmacher, Secretery General, World Evangelical Alliance
  • Shahin Ashraf, Head of Global Advocacy, Islamic Relief Worldwide
  • Fidon Mwombeki, General Secretary, All Africa Council of Churches
  • Susanna Mattingly, Acting General Secretary Friends World Committee for Consultation
  • Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary, ACT Alliance
  • Junghee Min, Secretary-general, Interreligious Climate and Ecology Network
  • Valeriane Bernard, Brahma Kumari World Spiritual University UN representative
  • Jack Palmer-White, Anglican Communion’s Representative to the UN
  • Aytzim: Ecological Judaism
  • Sanat Kumar Barua, General Secretary, Atisha Dipankar Peace Trust Bangladesh
  • Sustainable Action for Nature (SAN)
  • Kenneth Nana Amoateng, Abibinsroma Foundation, Ghana
  • Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop Canada
  • Revd James Shri Bhagwan, General Secretary Pacific Conference of Churches
  • Council of Anglican Provinces Africa
  • Metropolitan Serafim Kykotis, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  • Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Linda Nicholls, Archbishop of Canada
  • Jim, Lord Wallace of Tankerness, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • Quakers in Britain
  • Jude Levermore, Head of Mission, The Methodist Church in Britain
  • Fred Milligan, Presbyterians for Earth Care
  • Joy Kennedy, Canadian Interfaith Fast for the Climate
  • Christopher Harper, Bishop of Saskatoon, Canada
  • Adam Halkett, Bishop Diocese of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • John Arnold, Bishop of Salford
  • Bishop Stephen Wright, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham
  • Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich
  • Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading
  • Revd Dr Matthew Cobb
  • Cannon Giles Goddard, Co-Founder Faith for the Climate

By LWF/A. Weyermüller

 

COP26 photo album


COP26

The LWF participates in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) which takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 12 November. This engagement is part of the communion’s ongoing focus to strengthen climate action and advocacy at all levels. Young people are vital agents of change and form the greater part of the LWF’s delegation to COP26.