Cop 27 has begun at a time of global crisis which ranges beyond the climate emergency, writes the Church of England's lead Bishop for Environmental Affairs, Graham Usher.
The Cop 27 President Kiara Worth / UNFCCC

With war in Europe, hunger and cold at home, and extreme weather events displacing whole communities around the world, my prayer in the coming days is that our determination for momentous and positive change at the two week summit in Sharm El-Sheikh is not diminished but redoubled.

As the UK Government passes the COP Presidency to Egypt, I am grateful to Alok Sharma for his serious, passionate and ambitious leadership over the last year.

This COP urgently needs to build on his achievements at COP26 in Glasgow last year.

In Glasgow many promises where made. In Sharm El-Sheikh those promises must be translated into transparent and ambitious realities.

My prayer is that we listen to the science, and to people of all ages, genders and ethnicities - to the indigenous and to the most climate vulnerable around the world. There are prophets in our midst if only we would hear their cry and then choose a path that future generations will look back on with thanksgiving. 

The tipping point we are reaching will lead to more human misery, more migration, more conflict, and devastating impacts on biodiversity.

And, at a time of concerns about fuel supply, it is imperative that the world has a clean energy revolution so that supplies can be secured and the planet safeguarded.

This COP, held on African soil, must be good news for the economically poorest of Africa and the rest of the world. Climate change knows no international borders and we keep seeing extreme weather events all around the world – but the poorest are least able to adapt and become resilient.

So my final prayer is that serious action will be taken on loss and damage, the mechanism to provide new and fair finance, as this needs urgent resolution if trust is to be maintained with developing and climate vulnerable nations.

We are running out of time.  What does the Lord require of us? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with the Lord . We need to act together - right now - for the common good of all life that shares our one planet home.

Graham Usher is the Bishop of Norwich, and Chair of the Church of England's Environmental Working Group. 

Pictured is the UN's Head of Climate Affairs, Simon Stiel, addressing the Cop 27 summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

"The tipping points we are reaching will lead to more human misery, more migration, more conflict, and devastating impacts on biodiversity"

Source URL: