Over 20 senior leaders from Methodist Churches around the world have signed a joint statement calling on world leaders to act at COP26 to achieve climate justice.
Leaders from the Methodist Churches in Italy, the Pacific Islands, Zambia, Britain and Uruguay join leaders from six other countries and regions, and leaders from the European Methodist Council, World Methodist Council and United Methodist Church to release the statement at the start of the second week of COP26.
In the statement, the church leaders identify their Methodist and Uniting Church heritage as a quality which brings them together. They also highlight their identity as climate activists, saying that “the climate crisis is the greatest threat to life on earth and must be tackled”.
They also recognise the leadership on climate issues offered to their churches by young people, before they turn to call on world leaders at COP26 to take action for Climate Justice.
The statement reads:
“We believe that COP26 must be a turning point in the movement towards climate justice.
We believe that the nations of the world should work together at COP26 to meaningfully and urgently reduce their emissions, and to strive for fair agreements, where the highest emitters take the most action.
We believe that COP26 should agree and commit to resources for vulnerable nations to be equipped with the financial support they need to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, to mitigate their own emissions, and to rebuild from climate related loss and damage.”
The Methodist leaders go on to call on world leaders at COP26 to “ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and that brave and committed action is taken.”
The statement was coordinated by Climate Justice For All, a joint initiative supported by the Methodist Church in Britain which has brought together six young leaders from five countries to lead Methodist Churches worldwide in climate action ahead of COP26. The group have been represented as official delegates at COP26 in Glasgow, as well as hosting events in the city whilst the conference took place.
Camilla Ferreiro, the Climate Justice For All team member from Uruguay, said:
“COP26 is our last best hope for genuine commitments to be made to tackle the climate crisis. We cannot let this moment pass us by without doing everything within our power to ensure climate justice can be achieved. As young people, we are deeply aware of the impact the climate crisis will have on our lives, and on future generations.
We’re pleased to see Methodist leaders from around the world using their position to influence action at COP26. As people of faith, we know that we have a moral and spiritual duty to use our resources and influence to seek the good of all creation. In this second week of COP26, the time has really come to focus on achieving all we can before time is up. We pray that COP26 may be an historical moment where we see real change for climate justice.”
- Signatories to the statement represent over 14 countries and regions, including South India, Britain, Italy, Zambia, Uruguay, Germany, the Pacific Islands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Central and Southern Europe, Bangladesh and the United States.
- Joint Methodist bodies represented in the statement include the World Methodist Council, the Pacific Conference of Churches, the United Methodist Church and the European Methodist Council.
- Climate Justice For All is a youth-led campaign to mobilise the global Methodist family on issues of climate justice. You can find some more about them here: https://worldmethodistcouncil.org/cj4a/.
- COP26 is meeting for the second week in Glasgow, UK, bringing together the Conference of Parties on the United Nations Framework on Climate Change. Find out more about COP26 here: https://ukcop26.org/.