Climate Sunday Update

It feels like a long time has passed since COP26 ended in Glasgow. It was great to be present at the conference as Climate Sunday, where we held a stall in the green zone on Monday 1 November (see if you can spot us in this video from COP26 cabinet office team).

And, whilst some welcome agreements were reached, the outcomes of the conference on the whole fell short of what was needed to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

In the wake of this, we’ve urged UK government to show moral leadership and to take bolder action at home on the climate crisis after COP26. With countries needing to ramp up their pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions within a year – by COP27 – it is urgent that rich countries step up their domestic action before then to be in a position to commit more internationally. You can read a press release from Climate Sunday following COP26 here.

How did we make a difference?

Climate Sunday was important in the lead-up to and during COP26, and has played a key role in ensuring that the legacy of COP26 will stretch far beyond what happened in Glasgow.

The UK’s hosting of COP26 has proved a catalyst for churches’ engagement with climate action across Britain and Ireland. More than 2,200 churches and groups of churches have held climate focused church services, committed to practical action in their local communities, and speaking up on climate issues over the last year. For many congregations, Climate Sunday represented the first time they had taken action on the climate crisis.

This was represented in the Climate Sunday presence in the Green Zone. Here, the main Climate Sunday report named each registered church, and those names and the photographs and stories that churches shared – bore witness to your levels of concern. Thank you for your contributions.

This wider civil society focus on the need for COP26 to be ambitious brought increased pressure on negotiators to perform. Whilst the conference might not have done everything it could to keep 1.5 degree warming targets in sight, significant progress was made in key areas.

You can catch up on our webinar ‘Impressions from COP26’, to hear more about what our members in the COP zones felt about the conference. Catch up here.

It’s brilliant that Climate Sunday has brought together a broad range of organisations and denominations, and we’re celebrating everything that’s been achieved through the campaign. But we’re also urging churches not to stop here.

We can and should keep going on our commitments to environmental action, and continue to put pressure on the UK government to deliver on its climate responsibilities.

What next? How you can take action

If COP26 is not the end of the journey but simply the next step, how can churches continue to be involved?

It’s crucial that we keep up the pressure on the UK Government to support the aims of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Until COP27, the UK will still play a role in steering nations to meet the targets set at COP26, as well as aiming to meet their commitments domestically.

2 minutes? Sign the card

Sign the giant Christmas card to Boris Johnson, to ask him to ensure that the promises made at COP26 are kept. Boris Johnson spoke some strong words about climate change at COP26 – but will the government follow through? When it comes to climate action, the proof is in the pudding.

Sign the card here

10 minutes? Write to your MP

It’s crucial that our MPs know that, as people of faith, we are still energised to push forward to more ambitious change for the climate. Could you write to your MP using the Climate Coalition’s template letter, to ask them to ‘keep 1.5 degrees alive’?

Use the template letter and write to your MP now.

Want to know more? Join our webinar

On Thursday 20th January at 7pm, join the Climate Sunday team for ‘Climate Sunday: What’s next after COP26?’ We’ll celebrate everything that Climate Sunday has achieved as a project, and look towards the future. We’ll be exploring the next steps churches can take to work towards climate justice.

Sign up for the webinar here.

Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that we continue to play our part in responding to the climate crisis. Thank you for your continued support.

Every blessing and Christmas greetings,

Climate Sunday Team