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COP15 and COP26: “A Call to Action”

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Two international meetings in the coming months will be crucial moments in the fight against climate change and biodiversity destruction. COP-26 on climate change and COP-15 on biodiversity. Catholic groups are lobbying for action.

The Conference of Parties COP26 (31 Oct – 12 Nov, 2021) will be a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change. On the back on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which issued a ‘Red Alert’ for Earth, this Conference is a time when the Paris Agreement plans will be reassessed and seeks to

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.
  3. Mobile finance to achieve this, at least $100bm each year.
  4. Work together to deliver, finalising the rules of the Paris Agreement and work collaboratively across governments, businesses, and civil society.

COP 15 is a Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity. The Convention is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. Held on 11-15 October, 2021 and 25 April-8 May, 2022 in Kunming, China, the Conference will bring together 150 signatories to the convention and is working towards the adaption of a UN Biodiversity Framework to be adapted in May 2020. 

Monsignor Bruno-Marie Duffé, former Secretary for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has stated that “This Season of Creation will also be a critical moment for Catholics to lift up the voices of the most vulnerable and advocate on their behalf.” 

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development has also promoted the Healthy Planet, Healthy People Catholic Petition which urges leaders at the two COPs to: 

  • Explicitly recognise human-induced climate change and biodiversity as part of one and the same crisis.
  • Acknowledge the need for ambitious, integrated, and transformative action that responds to both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. 
  • Urgently affirm the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and to a new biodiversity global goal of 50% conservation of lands and waters, and restoration and sustainable management of all the rest of land and water bodies to ensure no more biodiversity loss. 
  • Recognise the ecological debt of high income nations and agree to reform the financial system and cancellation of debt, so that all countries can restart economies that work for all peoples and the planet. 

Webinar: COP26, Climate and the Pacific: A Call to Action

An ecumenical webinar: COP26, Climate and the Pacific: A Call to Action will be held on 17 September at 5pm AEST which focuses on why COP26 is significant for the climate emergency in the Pacific and on “what you can do as a member of the Australian Christian community to ensure that our world leaders “listen to the Cry of Earth”.

The Speakers will be the Archbishop of Suva Peter Chong, Bishop of Parramatta Vincent Long, Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary Rev. James Bhagwan and Rev. Mata Havea Hiliau Moderator Elect, Uniting Church NSW/ACT, for a conversation facilitated by Sister Jan Barnett rsj

For more information click here or to RSVP email Corinne Fagueret

UPDATE: A recording of the webinar is available here