A Rocha at COP26

What is COP26?

COP26, or the Glasgow Climate Change Conference, is an international conference organized by the United Nations. It will take place from 1 to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. It is the 26th Conference of the Parties (hence the acronym: COP26), which brings together the signatory countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

What are the objectives of COP26?

Countries are asked to set ‘ambitious’ targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to achieve ‘net zero’ (i.e. not releasing more emissions into the atmosphere than is removed) by 2050.

Why is this COP so important?

COP26 is our ‘last best chance’ to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, beyond which we will face catastrophic consequences.

What is A Rocha calling for?

We have three key asks of COP26:

  • Ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gases: countries to commit to emissions targets that will, if implemented, cut greenhouse gases by 40% in 10 years;
  • Climate finance promises fulfilled: rich countries to deliver the long-unkept promise of providing $100 billion a year in climate finance;
  • Work with nature, not against it: all countries to include Nature-based Solutions in their national plans and COP to agree on sound, common principles or standards. You can read more about Nature-based Solutions in our position statement here.

Why is A Rocha involved?

As Christians, we believe we have a double biblical mandate to work on climate change:

  1. We are commanded to care for God’s creation because He made it and loves it, and a stable climate system is part of God’s creation, vital to the existence of those He has made.
  2. We are commanded to love our neighbour, the poor and vulnerable among us, who will be disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Furthermore, we want to bear witness, as Christians, by attending, praying, participating, and lobbying for ambitious solutions to be adopted, and by helping to inform, raise awareness and mobilize Christians.

What can I do?

No matter the outcome, churches and individuals will need to step up their own action on climate change.

Though many of us feel powerless in the face of the climate crisis, it is important to remember that we can take practical action and campaign. To find out more about how you can get involved, visit our website here.

What can I pray for?

We covet your prayers. 13 staff members will be representing A Rocha from the UK, Ghana, France, Canada, Climate Stewards and A Rocha International. A Rocha Ghana and UK have exhibition stands and others will be networking, reporting out, and seeing how they might influence outcomes, especially around the issues of Nature-based Solutions to climate change.