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Voices in the wilderness: crying out for change at COP26

Prayer points from our global team about the COP26 climate talks that are underway in Glasgow.

Rachael Adams | 05 Nov 2021

Credit: Zoe Burden/Tearfund

Credit: Zoe Burden/Tearfund

The UN climate talks, COP26, are underway in Glasgow. As the conference continues, it is vital that the voices of people living in poverty – those who are facing the brutal effects of climate change every day – are heard and acted on by world leaders.

Norman Molina, who works in Tearfund’s Honduras team, sees the effects of the climate crisis every day. In Honduras – and across many parts of Central America – it has led to a migration crisis.

Wiped out

‘Fishing communities, they have a small restaurant and they cook fish and sell fish for a living. These communities don’t exist anymore because the water levels have increased in ways that have made communities – entire communities – disappear,’ shares Norman.

A way of life for generations upon generations of families is being torn apart.

The change in weather patterns is leading many people to despair. ‘Rain has become a threat. Our hearts start pumping very fast and our minds start creating stories, and we are traumatised by it,’ Norman tells us.

Last year, Honduras was battered by two hurricanes, pushing even more people in the country into poverty. Disasters like this are becoming more frequent and more severe due to climate change.

‘Every time I hear rain, there is this fear of what is going to happen, which is sad, because rain in the Bible for us, it’s a sign of blessing – of life, of crops and growth.’

Last year, in the space of two weeks, communities across Honduras and Central America were devastated by two hurricanes. Photo credit: CASM/Tearfund

Last year, in the space of two weeks, communities across Honduras and Central America were devastated by two hurricanes. Photo credit: CASM/Tearfund

How could COP26 change this?

The conference is bringing together leaders from around the world to tackle climate change. The climate crisis is not limited by borders. As well as strong national commitments – especially from richer nations – we need countries to work together to agree on decisive actions to tackle this emergency.

There is also increasing recognition that the world’s poorest countries are being hit the hardest by climate change – even though they have done the least to cause it. Conferences such as COP26 help to bring accountability to wealthier countries who are causing the emissions that are fuelling the climate crisis.

At the UN’s climate talks in 2015 in Paris, world leaders made a ground-breaking commitment to stop the global average temperature from increasing by more than 2°C and do all they can to limit it to 1.5°C.

As part of COP26, world leaders will be reviewing the progress that has been made so far on this and committing to further action.

What difference will this make?

Limiting the Earth’s temperature from rising is crucial if we are to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. There is now widespread acceptance from world leaders and scientists that 1.5°C is an important target to hit. An increase in temperature causes sea levels to rise, as well as increases the risk of deadly disasters, such as hurricanes, droughts and floods.

‘Fishing communities...  don’t exist anymore because the water levels have increased in ways that have made communities – entire communities – disappear.’
Norman Molina, Honduras Team

Norman’s story highlights why this is so important. In Honduras, and in many of the countries where Tearfund is working, people are already facing the consequences of this. With every fraction of a degree that the temperature rises, the scale of devastation will increase.

‘Several Tearfund staff members, as well as international partners and allies, are in Glasgow during COP26. We’re talking with government officials, churches and Christians as well as campaigning to raise awareness of this issue,’ shares Jane Boswell, from Tearfund’s campaigns team.

‘We are also holding regular prayer meetings and prayer walks across the city to intercede for the talks and lift up the concerns of our global neighbours.

‘We need world leaders to all play their part in keeping 1.5°C commitment. Please pray that decisive action will be taken on this at COP26.’

Pray with us

  • Pray for world leaders to understand the importance of keeping the 1.5°C commitment and that they will see it as urgent to take action to keep this promise.
  • Lift up people around the world – like Norman and the communities he works with – and pray that their voices and concerns will be heard and acted upon at COP26.
  • Pray for protection and provision for people in poverty who are already suffering from the effects of the climate crisis. Pray for help to reach them.

Rachael Adams


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