Organized by Durham University‘s ECLAS Project and the Laudato Si’ Movement, the online event “Catholics at COP26” took place. 

Speakers who have been involved in the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change Conference, which took place in Glasgow between October 31 and November 12, participated in the event. 

They talked about what is happening to the climate and why the COP is so important, what is the role of the Church in communicating and taking action to tackle the climate crisis, and how we should continue to act after the COP.

Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford and Chair of the Environment Advisory Group of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, was the moderator in charge of the meeting.

If you missed the event, watch it in full here:
What did the speakers say?
  • Dra Lorna Gold – Director of Building the FaithInvest Movement and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Laudato Si’ Movement.

“There is another COP happening, which is much more interesting, and it is what is happening outside, people’s COP, lots of events, protests, honest conversations.”

“We need to be in an emergency system for the planet, but it’s not really taking place inside the negotiations, and we’re seeing that.”

  • Dr Carmody Grey – Associate Professor of Catholic Theology, Durham University

“We must talk about ecological conversion and ecological sin. Because every time we talk about nature, we are talking about the same union of actions.”

“Each one of us must go back to Laudato Si’ and to the scriptures to regain hope. Christian communities and the Catholic Church must slow down and say we don’t want this.” 

  • Dr Franziska Kohlt – Researcher and postdoctoral associate of the Equipping Christian Leadership in the Age of Science project.

“Without knowing it, the influence with which we go chasing this crisis, is with a certain comfort that everything is going to be okay.” 

  • Lydia Machaka – CIDSE Climate Justice and Energy Officer

“Zero emissions agreements are nothing if we don’t talk about fossil fuel reduction. We need more time.”

“We are waiting for individuals to be able to talk to their governments and complain to them. Young people can lead by example.”

  • P. Eduardo Agosta – Member of the Carmelite Order, Catholic priest, Master in Atmospheric Sciences and PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. 

“Integral ecology is a paradigm, a worldview for Catholics. In creation everything is interconnected. If you are a believer, you have to work on creation care. We must heal human relationships with the environment.”

“The climate, the glaciers, the poles, are talking to us. I think it will be impossible, in practical terms, to create a drastic transformation of the world economy.”  

At the end of the meeting, from Glasgow, Lindliyn Moma, Director of Advocacy for the Laudato Si’ Movement, gave thanks for the event and the richness provided by each member of the panel. Bishop Arnold concluded with a prayer.