The United Nations 26th Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow is a critical summit for global climate action and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees this century from pre-industrial levels.
Catholics on six continents have united ahead of the crucial UN conference by signing the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition to give Earth a voice. Join Catholics everywhere and sign the petition today.
The prophetic petition calls on governments to set ambitious targets that limit warming to 1.5 degrees and protect our common home, among other requests, during COP26 and the UN’s biodiversity conference in April.
COP26 is such a vital moment that the Vatican is sending a delegation to a UN climate change conference. Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin will lead the delegation, which plans to be “everywhere” during the two-week summit, which starts Sunday and ends 12 November.
By attending, the Holy See seeks to amplify the voice of the most affected and promote their inclusion in the climate justice negotiations. Additionally, the negotiations will focus on protecting biodiversity and helping all of God’s creation adapt, mitigate, and recover from the harm caused by the climate crisis.
Why the Vatican going to COP26 matters so much
The Vatican’s attendance shows just how important this conference is for the global Catholic Church and all Catholics. The Vatican delegation is one of many faith groups that will be in attendance in Glasgow that recognizes how our common home is at risk. Together, with people of faith from around the world, they are pleading for bold and conscious action at the global level.
One of the main success markers in Glasgow will be how many governments submit new five-year goals, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and if the new plans keep the world on track for no more than 1.5 degrees of warming.
What to watch at COP26
A triumphant outcome in Glasgow also would require developed countries to honor the $100 billion per year by 2020 that they have pledged in order to support climate action in developing countries. That goal, however, was not met last year.
The financial compensation for “loss and damage” lived by so many poor people will be a key ask particularly for the Global South, and one that the Vatican, as well as the global Church, will be watching closely.
These funds are needed to help the countless communities that have been harmed by the climate crisis and for those who have lost land due to rising sea levels. Tackling both climate change and biodiversity loss together in a serious way ensures that our common home will be collectively protected.
By advocating for such action, the global Church seeks to represent the voiceless and ensure that no one is excluded or left behind because of the climate crisis.
It is a difficult task, but our faith calls us to such actions. Therefore, with the Vatican and Church leaders everywhere, we will be working for and praying for more ambitious targets at COP26 in Glasgow.