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Why now is the time to take climate action

In the lead-up to COP27 – and amid so much political turmoil – movements for change are more important than ever.

01 Nov 2022

Image credit: Chris Hoskins / Tearfund

It has been an unprecedented few months in the UK. Now, as we see another prime minister take up office after so many changes in our country’s leadership, it can be easy to lose heart and wonder: can our actions really make a difference?

Governments may come and go, but the church is always there. And our voice is still strong. As the UN climate talks approach (6–18 November), this is an important moment for us to call on our leaders to deliver real change. Will you join us?

Climate crisis

Amid the chaos in UK politics, a much bigger crisis is still unfolding across the world. While we weather political storms in the UK, people living in climate-vulnerable nations
are facing real storms on a life-threatening scale.

In the last two weeks alone, Bangladesh has been devastated by a cyclone, and catastrophic flooding has killed over 600 people in Nigeria. And this in a year where we’ve seen severe drought in East Africa, major heat waves across Europe, landslides in Brazil, and much more. Extreme weather events like these are becoming more frequent and more intense as a result of global warming.

It’s clear the climate crisis is intensifying, the planet is burning, lives are at stake. Yet, our politicians are not making it the top priority it needs to be. This makes it even more important that we, as the church, use our voices and call for decisive action. Now’s the time to come together and demand justice for those living in poverty, who are impacted by the climate emergency the most.  When we join our voices, we have the power to shape politics.

 
 

Why COP27 matters

On 6 November, world leaders will gather for the UN climate talks (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. Last year, at COP26 in Glasgow, leaders took positive steps but fell short of delivering justice for the most vulnerable – and we have seen multiple failures in leadership since then. The $100 billion that the UK and other wealthy nations pledged to deliver from 2020 to help lower-income countries respond to the climate crisis is now another year overdue. Very few countries have strengthened their national climate plans. And 1.5°C could become out of reach

As the UK hands its COP presidency over to Egypt, we need to see words turn into actions. At COP27, Tearfund will be lobbying negotiators on climate finance and other key issues that affect those living in poverty. Read more about why COP27 matters and what we’re hoping to see at the talks.

Take action with us 

In the middle of COP27, on Saturday 12 November, there will be a Global Day of Action. You can join in marches that are planned in towns and cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so find a march near you and join in. Tearfund will have a presence at the London, Cardiff and Belfast events, so you can grab a yellow heart-shaped, recyclable placard from us!
 
During COP26, thousands of people across the UK – including Christians and churches – joined marches, campaigned and spoke up for climate justice. Whether you took part last year, or you’ve been part of movements like this for a long time, or you’re completely new to climate activism, this year’s marches are the perfect opportunity to show that – no matter the political storms – we’ll stand with those suffering the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

Don’t grow weary

With all that is going on it can be easy to become discouraged and lose faith that our voices will be heard or that our leaders will respond. But remember the words of Galatians 6:9: ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’

Action you can take today

As well as marching on 12 November, there are other ways we can show Prime Minister Rishi Sunak what action we want to see at COP27. Why not write to your MP to tell them that climate change matters to you and that you want to see leaders act on it? And you can sign our Time to Deliver petition calling on the UK Government to influence wealthy nations to deliver the $100 billion per year promised from 2020 to help lower-income countries respond to climate change.

Follow our guide to praying for COP27, and sign up to receive prayer alerts by SMS for updates on how to pray throughout the negotiations.

 

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