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Keeping Up the Pressure: The Role of Faith Communities in COP26

Written by Emma Judkins
February 17, 2021

—By Emma Judkins, she/her
Civil Society Engagement, Campaigns and Engagement
COP26, United Nations Climate Change Conference

Committed to delivering an inclusive and ambitious COP26

We are at a turning point for our planet. As the world recovers from COVID-19, it is critical that we build back greener, fairer, and more resilient. The world needs to come together and see a step-change in climate ambition and action if we are to avoid unleashing catastrophic impacts on generations to come.

From November 1- 12, 2021, the UK will host COP26, the United Nations Climate Change conference, in Glasgow with our partner, Italy. COP26 is an opportunity for the world to come together and commit to urgent climate action.

We know that climate change has the greatest impact on the most vulnerable sections of society — on those who are most reliant on natural resources and have the least capacity to respond to natural disasters. As the COP26 Presidency, the UK is committed to securing an outcome in November that respects and reflects the interests of all Parties, in particular those most vulnerable to climate change.

All of society climate action

The UK is working to deliver a COP26 that is inclusive of all of society, recognising the need to harness the innovation and commitment of all — faith groups, citizens, civil society, young people, Indigenous Peoples, investors, business, cities, and Parties — to rise to the challenge of climate change and unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement.

The voices of faith groups can play a vital role in inspiring a global response to climate change, both at a community and international level. Representing over 80% of the world’s population, faith and spiritual groups have a unique perspective on climate change — through protecting the planet and supporting the most vulnerable in society — and a reach that extends to communities around the world.

Keeping Up the Pressure: The Role of Faith Communities in COP26 

On February 22, 2021, Matt Toombs, Director of Campaigns and Engagement from the COP unit, and Nigel Topping, the UNFCCC High Level Champion, will join Karri Munn-Venn from Citizens for Public Justice for a webinar discussion of the special role faith can play in keeping up the pressure to deliver ambitious climate action. More information and registration for this event are available here.

The webinar will cover what to expect from COP26, the Presidency’s vision to deliver an ambitious and inclusive summit, the High-level champion’s role in mobilizing real world action, and the role we envision faith communities playing in the climate crisis.

We want to hear your expert views about how we can work with faith communities to mobilize ambition ahead of COP26. Some of the ways we think faith communities can help us do this are;

  1. Amplifying relevant religious teachings or guidance to encourage real-world action in communities, generate behaviour change, and inspire care for our shared planet;
  2. encouraging faith leaders, groups, and institutions to set measurable, real world actions to combat climate change within their own organisations, and
  3. using your collective voices to build international pressure on governments and non-state actors, such as business, to take greater and more ambitious climate action that supports the most impacted communities and protects the planet.

We look forward to working with you!

Further information

For further information, please see our COP26 website, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and sign up to our newsletter here.

Contact for more information.