COP28 is the United Nations Climate Change conference happening in the United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 12 December 2023. It is the 28th meeting of the Conference of Parties on climate change.
There will be discussions, presentations and negotiations across a wide range of topics involving people from governments, businesses, communities and faith-based organisations. Climate change affects many areas of our lives, such as health, trade, energy, transport, buildings, food, education, young people, land, and nature, and these themes will be discussed throughout the fortnight. Cutting across all these themes, and the ultimate purpose of discussing these issues are four important outcomes which we need to see:
- cutting emissions in order to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5oC
- making sure there is the money available to make the changes needed and to support countries already facing irreversible loss and damage
- putting nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action
- making sure everyone’s voices are included, especially those who are not usually heard
The Church of England will have a global representation at COP28. There will be a delegation which represents the whole Anglican Communion from around the world, led by Archbishop Julio Murray, from Panama. Archbishop Julio especially wants to be able to share stories from around the Anglican Communion from communities who are already suffering from the impacts of climate change and have been for a long time.
The impacts of climate change, drought, storms and floods, are not felt equally around the world. Some of the poorest communities in the world are suffering the most. It is this inequality which underpins the faith voice at COP28. We worship a God of justice, and therefore we want to be at COP28 to help bring about climate justice.u
Pray for every country to be willing to make concessions to see the kind of change we need to see to tackle climate change. Pray that those who are on the margins and at the forefront of the changing climate are able to tell their stories, that these stories are heard, and that they move people to action. Pray for Archbishop Julio and the rest of his Anglican colleagues. Pray that he gets the opportunities to speak and share stories from those who know what it means to live with the devastating impacts of climate change.
- CAFOD have prepared some specific prayers which you could use in church on the Sundays during COP28
- Green Christian will be holding a time of prayer every morning at 8am on Zoom during COP28. Find out how to join in here.
Why not also write to your MP (Find your MP). The UK delegation will have a stronger platform to negotiate from if they know that people back in the UK want to see radical change and bold decision making. You could echo the things which the Anglican Communion is calling for:
- Phasing out fossil fuels.
- No new fossil fuel extraction or exploration projects.
- Funds to help countries adapt to the changing climate and commitment to the Loss and Damage fund. Find a specific letter for emailing your MP about the Loss and Damage fund here.
Climate change and big international conferences like this can be hard for any of us to get our heads round. Talking with your friends, colleagues and neighbours to raise awareness about climate change is really important. You could:
- Use your social media presence to share items about COP28, explain why you care about them or share prayers.
- Provide a short explanation of what COP28 is at a church service or write an item for your parish magazine.
- Include the climate negotiations in your church’s intercessions.
Find out more about how to talk to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues about the climate emergency on this website.
Information gathered from the Church of England's Environmental Programme.