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Joint statement: Faith leaders call for urgent action at COP26

Time is running out. With the COP26 negotiations hanging in the balance, as Christian leaders and members of the global faith movement for climate justice, led by our sisters and brothers from the Global South, we call for urgent and ambitious action for the most vulnerable people and communities.

Where the current negotiation texts are failing:

The current texts remain worryingly unbalanced. While there is progress on mitigation, it is shocking that there is no reference to action needed to address increasing climate impacts.

Simply referencing Loss and Damage in the draft decision text without identifying any concrete action is offensive and immoral. The current text not only fails to address a mechanism to deliver action on Loss and Damage; it also does not provide any realistic path to new finance.

The texts on finance provide no confidence that the overdue pledge of $100 billion a year in support for poorer countries will be delivered. The commitment to adaptation, as part of that finance pledge, falls significantly short. The current text does not address the fact that most public finance comes in loans, which add to the burden of unsustainable debt for climate-vulnerable countries, nor the challenges on access.

The action we now need:

World leaders must now step up and deliver a clear, actionable text that strengthens previous agreements and puts those living on the frontline of the climate crisis at its heart. The richest, most powerful, and most polluting countries bear a particular responsibility.

We call on leaders at COP26 to preserve all of God’s Creation by:

Recognizing the urgency of this crisis, including language in the text that encourages all countries, but especially major emitters, to come forward annually at each COP with new ambition announcements that exceed their current NDC targets.

Calling for all Parties to address Loss and Damage by mobilizing a separate and additional funding stream separate to finance for mitigation and adaptation; making Loss and Damage a permanent COP agenda item; and ensuring adequate capacity and resources to support the full operationalization of the Santiago Network by COP27.

Richer governments fulfilling their promises and delivering the $100 billion promised for 2020 and increasing it in 2022 and beyond. This must be evenly split between mitigation and adaptation, must be in the form of grants and not loans, and address access issues so the finance reaches those who need it most.


Rev. Anne Burghardt, General Secretary, Lutheran World Federation

Fr Ioan Sauca, Acting General Secretary, The World Council of Churches

Bishop Thomas Schirrmacher, Secretery General, World Evangelical Alliance

Shahin Ashraf, Head of Global Advocacy, Islamic Relief Worldwide

Fidon Mwombeki, General Secretary, All Africa Council of Churches

Susanna Mattingly, Acting General Secretary Friends World Committee for Consultation

Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary, ACT Alliance

Junghee Min, Secretary-general, Interreligious Climate and Ecology Network

Valeriane Bernard, Brahma Kumari World Spiritual University UN representative

Jack Palmer-White, Anglican Communion’s Representative to the UN

Aytzim: Ecological Judaism

Sanat Kumar Barua, General Secretary, Atisha Dipankar Peace Trust Bangladesh

Sustainable Action for Nature (SAN)

Kenneth Nana Amoateng, Abibinsroma Foundation, Ghana

Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop Canada

Revd James Shri Bhagwan, General Secretary Pacific Conference of Churches

Council of Anglican Provinces Africa

Metropolitan Serafim Kykotis, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa

Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church

Linda Nicholls, Archbishop of Canada

Jim, Lord Wallace of Tankerness, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Quakers in Britain

Jude Levermore, Head of Mission, The Methodist Church in Britain

Fred Milligan, Presbyterians for Earth Care

Joy Kennedy, Canadian Interfaith Fast for the Climate

Christopher Harper, Bishop of Saskatoon, Canada

Adam Halkett, Bishop Diocese of Saskatchewan, Canada

John Arnold, Bishop of Salford

Bishop Stephen Wright, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham

Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich

Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading

Revd Dr Matthew Cobb

Cannon Giles Goddard, Co-Founder Faith for the Climate

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