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/ 20 September 2021

Bishops join leaders of other major faiths to demand climate action at COP26 in Glasgow

Faith leaders have joined together to demand climate action ahead of the worldwide COP26 meeting on climate change in Glasgow.

The new declaration from representatives of religious communities across the United Kingdom calls on us all to be “advocates for justice” ahead of the Glasgow summit.

The declaration comes just 40 days before the beginning of COP26 when leaders are set to agree emission reducing plans to avert a rise in global temperatures of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich and lead Bishop on the Environment for the Church of England, signed the statement alongside leaders of every major Christian denomination and representatives from Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities.The declaration states:

“We remind governments of their commitments made in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming, and to protect the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. We call upon them to take the urgent action needed to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change.

“Across our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change our ways to ensure a quality of life which all can share.  We need to provide hope for people of all ages, everywhere, including future generations.

“To offer hope in the world we need to have confidence that those in power understand the vital role they have to play at the Glasgow COP26.”

The new multi-faith declaration builds on the 2015 Lambeth Declaration and this month’s statement signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The three Christian leaders then warned of the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on poverty, and the importance of global cooperation ahead of COP26.

The publication of the declaration coincides with the end of both the Scottish Government Climate Week and Stop Climate Chaos Fringe Week, as well as the beginning of the Climate Coalition’s Great Big Green Week.

The Glasgow Declaration pledges a response to the challenge set by the climate emergency “by calling on governments, businesses and others who exercise power and influence to put into effect the Paris agreement; to make the transition to a just and green economy a priority; and to commit to science-based targets that are aligned with a healthy, resilient, zero-emissions future.”

Bishop Graham Usher said:

“As a world community we need to come together and keep the rise in global temperature to below 1.5 degrees.  We are drawing on the wells of wisdom within our traditions to encourage the leaders of the world to take the bold, prophetic, steps we all need.”

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