As the United Nations COP26 Climate Summit kicks off in Glasgow, two bishops representing the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales called on governments to “act globally” and commit to support the world’s poorest nations who often face the worst effects of climate change.
Bishop Richard Moth, Senior Bishop for Social Justice and Bishop John Arnold Senior Bishop for Environment, issued a joint statement stressing that COP26 presents “a unique, unprecedented and very possibly final opportunity to engage in a meaningful global dialogue that will establish goals and policies to address the ecological crisis we are currently experiencing. “
We are not faced with two distinct crises, one environmental and the other social, but a complex crisis both social and environmental. The solution strategies require an integrated approach to the fight against poverty, the restoration of the dignity of the excluded and at the same time the protection of nature. Laudato Si ‘- 39.
Tackling the environmental crisis is a Catholic issue because it is a universal issue. It affects all of us. If we do not act, we risk causing irreparable damage to God’s creation, of which he made us stewards.
As Catholics, Pope Francis has given us very clear direction on the importance of taking care of our common home. In his encyclical Laudato Si ‘of 2015, His Holiness made it clear that “harming the environment is harming human beings”. Therefore, it is indisputable that the ecological crisis is one of the most pressing social justice issues of our time. As a global community of over a billion people, the Catholic Church has been at the forefront of the fight against the ecological crisis. The COP26 meeting in Glasgow provides an opportunity for our communities in England and Wales to promote the voices and experiences of Catholics around the world.
The Catholic community is represented at COP26 by delegations from various Catholic organizations from England and Wales, the Holy See and Episcopal Conferences from around the world. In this spirit of mutual respect, we call on governments to maintain their commitment to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.
We will also insist that governments commit to supporting the world’s poorest nations, which often face the worst effects of climate change when they have done the least to contribute. We know that we must act globally to protect the biodiversity of this earth, and all of God’s creation that depends on it. The ecological crisis is a human crisis, and we must strive to find solutions that ensure that the communities most vulnerable to the impact of climate change are not left behind in the decisions made by our leaders in Glasgow.
The COP26 meeting offers us a unique, unprecedented and very possibly final opportunity to engage in a meaningful global dialogue that will establish achievable goals and policies to address the ecological crisis we are currently experiencing.
The Right Reverend Richard Moth
Bishop of Arundel and Brighton
Senior Bishop for Social Justice
The Good Reverend John Arnold
Bishop of Salford
Senior Bishop for the Environment
Key words: COP26, Bishop John Arnold, Environment, Climate Change, Bishop Richard Moth, Ava Coploff, Unsplash
We need your support
ICN aims to provide timely and accurate news coverage of all matters of interest to Catholics and the Christian community at large. As our audience grows, so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.
Please support our journalism by donating to ICN today.
Donate to ICN