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An Introduction to COP26

AN INTRODUCTION TO COP 26
 The COP 26 Conference will take place in Glasgow from 31st October until 12th November. There will be over 20, 000 delegates taking part from all over the world. These include the national leaders of more than 100 countries. Pope Francis will take part, as well as Church and faith leaders from all over the world.
 
What does COP 26 stand for?
COP stands for “Conference of the Parties” It is the UN Conference on Climate change. This will be the 26th Conference, hence the “26”
 
“The COP is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention. All States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements.” (Conference of the Parties (COP) | UNFCCC)
 
The aim of COP26 is to bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
 
When and where was the first COP meeting?
The first COP meeting took place in Berlin, Germany in 1995. It usually takes place annually in Bonn, Germany, unless one of the participating countries offers to host it.
 
Why is it necessary to have COP conferences on Climate Change?
Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our world today:
“Around the world storms, floods and wildfires are intensifying. Air pollution sadly affects the health of tens of millions of people and unpredictable weather causes untold damage to homes and livelihoods too. But while the impacts of climate change are devastating, advances in tackling it are leading to cleaner air, creating good jobs, restoring nature and at the same time unleashing economic growth. Despite the opportunities we are not acting fast enough. To avert this crisis, countries need to join forces urgently. In November, the UK, together with our partner Italy, will host an event many believe to be the world’s last best chance to get runaway climate change under control.” https://ukcop26.org
Over the coming weeks we will look in more detail at the aims of COP26 and the importance of tackling the climate crisis. For example, we will look at the Paris Agreement on tackling the crisis of global warming and at the aims of COP26.
 
A Reflection on Scripture
The Book of Genesis reminds us that we do not own the planet that we call our home but rather it has been entrusted to us by God. We have the role of stewards. The question we might pose for ourselves is:
How do we see our role as stewards of God’s creation? As a community and as a group, do we take our responsibility seriously?
Spend a few moments reflection on Genesis 1: 26-31
“God said, ‘Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground.’
God blessed them, saying be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all living creatures that move on the earth. God also said, ‘Look, to you I give all the seed -bearing plants everywhere on the surface of the earth, and all the trees with seed-bearing fruit; this will be your food. And to all the wild animals, all the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that creep along the ground, I give all the foliage of the plants as their food.’ And so, it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.”
 
Pope Francis
In face of the enormity of the problems posed by the Global Climate Crisis, it is possible to feel overwhelmed and that we cannot make a difference.
Pope Francis says,
“We can make gestures of loving generosity. Hope would have us recognise that there is always a way out.
We must not think that our efforts are not going to change the world. They benefit society, often unbeknown to us, for they call forth a goodness which, though unseen, inevitably tends to spread.”

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