Why I marched for climate justice
Megan Hermes shares her experience of an unforgettable Day of Action in Glasgow during the UN climate talks, COP26.
Written by Megan Hermes | 08 Nov 2021
Last Saturday I marched alongside 100,000 others in the biggest demonstration Glasgow has ever seen. It was just one of hundreds of climate marches that took place in cities and towns across the UK that day.
Many might ask why I chose to spend my Saturday trudging through the pouring rain, against a battering wind. I marched because my faith compels me to act, and to stand alongside my global neighbours – those who have done the least to cause the climate crisis but who are suffering the most.
At the start of the Glasgow march, Ruth Valerio, Tearfund’s Director of Advocacy and Influencing, shared her thoughts on why we as Christians were taking part:
‘We march to praise God for who he is – that he is a Creator God of generous abundance. We march to pray for the delivery of promises made this week, for announcements to become a reality. We march to be prophetic – in protest, but to speak into the future and to take our own places as we look to live that future out. And together we form a procession.’
As we battled the elements and made our way from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green, I was reminded that my temporary discomfort was nothing compared to the everyday reality of those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. We faced Glasgow’s wind and rain, but millions are facing far worse as extreme weather events become more frequent and extreme because of our changing climate.
Kuki Rokhum, from Tearfund’s partner EFICOR in India, has witnessed at first hand the impacts of climate change in her country. She shared these powerful words before we began our march:
‘We march because we want climate justice. We want justice for the poorest communities and indigenous peoples living in different parts of the world – the families whose lives and homes are being destroyed by extreme weather, droughts and floods. We want justice for all those who live lightly and yet pay heavily. And we walk in faith that things can change. Together we each carry with us a hope that we will see deeds, not just words, from this COP26 summit. The time to act was yesterday, but we still have today.’
On Saturday the world was watching as thousands of people demonstrated their desire for change. It is my hope and prayer that one day I will be able to tell my children, and their children, of the day I took to the rainy streets of Glasgow to call for change, and how world leaders listened and responded. I pray that our actions send a clear message, not just to world leaders, but to our global neighbours, that there are thousands of us across the world passionately advocating for a fairer world. That we see their suffering, that our march was an act of love, for the whole of God's creation.
As we head into the second week of talks and negotiations at COP26, there’s still an opportunity for you to use your voice to help shape the outcome of COP26 through prayer:
Written by Megan Hermes
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