COP26 and the Church of Scotland
How the Church of Scotland is getting involved in the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
In November, Glasgow will host COP26 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
This will be the biggest international summit ever held in the UK, with delegates, diplomats and heads of state and government coming from around the globe – as well as scientists, campaigners, activists, businesses, human rights organisations and development NGOs.
COP26 will be the most important gathering to discuss the climate emergency since the 2015 Paris Agreement. This will be an important opportunity for countries to set out plans as to how to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
With COP26 taking place here in Scotland, the Church is especially interested in what is happening and engaging with the preparations and the opportunities to share our belief in the importance of safeguarding the integrity of God's creation.
The Church is supporting strands of work around hospitality, worship and advocacy. We are also developing our own plans to move to be a Net Zero carbon emissions organisation, with the target of reaching this by 2030 set by the General Assembly.
Video: Why is COP26 important?
The world will be coming to Glasgow in a way we have never seen before. The city, and Glasgow's churches, have been preparing for months. In particular, we have been promoting the Human Hotel, a project that allows people with a spare room in Glasgow (or an hour's travel of the COP) to offer accommodation to climate justice campaigners from around the world.
The COP summit itself falls during Scottish Interfaith Week, and a number of in-person and online events are being planned to bring people together to share ideas and learn about different religions and cultures and their approach to caring for the environment.
We are working with a number of congregations and organisations to develop opportunities for prayer, worship and developing a spiritual life in connection with COP26 and the climate crisis.
We are members of Glasgow Churches Together COP26 Co-ordinating Group, and are promoting and encouraging congregations across the Church of Scotland to think and pray about climate change in the run up to COP26. Climate Sunday from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has resources and ideas, and in our Weekly Worship resources for Creation Time (Sept-Oct) we are providing additional material prepared by Eco-Congregation Scotland.
Trinity College Glasgow is running a COP26 free online course, Faith Hope and Climate Change, running weekly from 15-27 October at 7pm.
A number of pilgrim groups are walking to Glasgow in time for the COP26, and many have opportunities for visitors to join them for a particular leg of the route.
We are exploring opportunities for online and in-person worship events at or in the run up to COP26 and plan to publicise these on our events page and through our social media platforms.
With Christians around the world we join with the voices of those who are suffering most because of global heating, sea-level rise and more extreme weather. Often it is those who contributed least to carbon emissions who are harmed the most, and are least able to adapt or mitigate the changes that are happening. This is an issue of justice, and so our concern for the integrity of creation is matched by a concern for fairness for fellow human beings around the world.
We are working with ecumenical partners to call on governments to:
- Show courageous leadership, putting the wellbeing of future generations and the planet above short-term considerations
- Ensure that the voices of people and communities on the climate frontline are heard and respected
- Work together in a co-ordinated and joined-up way through agreements at the COP
- Make more ambitious commitments to carbon emissions reductions to limit warming to no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels
- Stop subsidising fossil fuel production
- Establish new sources of financing for climate related loss and damage to help people already suffering the consequences. This will require richer countries putting aside funds to assist poorer countries.
We have specially designed Facebook page covers and art for Facebook events and posts available for download below.
Facebook Page Covers
Banner and Posters
Below are a banner and two posters which we have designed for COP26. We recommend having these printed by a professional printing company. The print specification for your local supplier is as follows:
- Dimensions: 1500mm x 600
- Finishing: eyelets (corners and centre top/bottom
- Colour: full colour, single sided
- Materials: 500gsm PVC or mesh
- Allow for time to have this produced
- Think about how this can have a life beyond COP26
- PVC banners can be recycled by specialist suppliers