Archbishop shares climate prayer to mark fifth anniversary of Paris Accord


The Church of England is marking five years since the passing of the Paris Accords at COP21 by encouraging Christians to pray for firm progress to be made on environmental pledges.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, has shared a video of the prayer, which parishes will be encouraged to use ahead of the next COP in Glasgow next November.

This weekend the UN will be hosting The Climate Ambition Summit, where signatories to COP21 will be making public re-commitments to reducing their climate footprint.

In the past five years the Church of England has made significant progress in reducing its own emissions.

Eight highlights from the past five years:

  1. In February 2020 The Church committed itself to achieving net zero emissions by 2030. Full scoping of this was provided to General Synod in November 2020.
  2. Parishes have been invited to play their part in achieving this commitment with guidance provided to churches.
  3. An innovative tool, already used by 3000 churches, was unveiled to allow churches to measure environmental footprints.
  4. Since the first diocese was declared an ‘Eco-Diocese’ in 2018, the numbers of dioceses to meet this standard has reached 11 – including three in the last month.
  5. Several cathedrals have also been supporting efforts to reduce their energy impacts, joining with parishes in installing solar panels.
  6. In the past six months two of the national online services have been focussed on the environment. Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley led a service for the Season of Creation, while a Harvest Festival service focussed on food production, distribution, and supermarket workers.
  7. Congregations have supported Climate Sunday which sees parishes dedicate one Sunday in a year to prayer and focus on the environment.
  8. Throughout the five years, church communities have led the way in innovative and engaging ways to raise awareness of man-made climate change, and efforts to reduce it. This includes one parish which grew its congregation with a monthly environment-focussed service.
Rural animals, sheep, are shown in a field with environmentally friendly wind turbines in the background

During the Paris COP21 conference, faith groups were cited as key stakeholders, and the faith voice is expected to be a priority again in Glasgow.

The Church will be involved with both the preparations and the conference itself next year.

More information:

  • The text of the full prayer:
    • "Creator God, giver of life, You sustain the earth and direct the nations. In this time of climate crisis grant us clarity to hear the groaning of creation and the cries of the poor; challenge us to change our lifestyles; guide our leaders to take courageous action; enable your church to be a beacon of hope; and foster within us a renewed vision of your purposes for your world; Through Jesus Christ our Lord, by and for whom all things were made. Amen."
  • COP 26 meets from November 1st 2021 for 12 days in Glasgow.