COP27 Part 3 - where do we go from here?
- We grew bigger and louder
- We need so much more in this emergency
- We’ll be back!
COP27 Part 3 - where do we go from here?
This is urgent, of course. The long drought in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda continues into another year and 40 million people are going hungry. This year, Pakistan’s floods killed 1,700 people and displaced 30 million, as well as causing $40 billion of damage. Brazil, Germany and Australia had major floods. Europe’s heatwave killed 20,000 people. Canada had record temperatures and forest fires. All this at below 1.5 degrees of warming, with only a very few years left to try to keep to that limit.
So we need all the encouragement we can get, and we got a lot from gathering with so many friends and allies at COP. It was great to get the voices of young African men and women heard in the conference centre in the African COP, and to work with people from many countries and each continent. We also had a lot of media coverage from many countries, especially African ones. We have a lot we can grow and build on!
This year it felt like the climate movement made our presence felt within the conference in a new way, and our Overdue Bill stunt on the first morning civil society could use the space helped set that tone for the rest of the two weeks. The march was bigger and louder, the activists stood out more, and the faith presence was bigger too with more people who were obviously faith leaders. It was striking how much attention our Micah 6:8 bible verse got. Many of the delegates are Christians, many stressed and frustrated by the huge, slow and often confusing experience of COP, and it’s good to be praying with and for them as well as lobbying them.
We also have momentum from more climate friendly governments, Brazil’s incoming government starting in January, and Australia’s - both top 20 emitters - and also Kenya. It’s also a relief that the US and China’s climate teams are talking again, and have said they’ll continue whatever else happens in the rest of Chinese-American diplomacy. Plus cheap clean energy keeps on growing.
COP is very flawed of course, with governments often asking what they can get away with instead of what they need to do, some trying to emit as much as possible while they still can, the power of the fossil fuel and agribusiness lobbies too great, and a lot depending on the diplomatic skills of the host. But we need it - the climate emergency is global, it affects every country, though some much more than others; and some countries’ responsibility is huge, some is tiny. There’s nowhere else we can get an international agreement where every nation has a voice, even if some voices are too loud and some too quiet, and there’s no time to invent one.
COP28 is in Dubai in early December 2023. Getting the Loss & Damage Fund set up and agreed will be high on the agenda, which means pushing through the year for it to be transparent and able to deliver for communities on the frontline. We have the rest of the promised $100 billion of funding to finish too; green jobs for African youth and others; cutting emissions much faster than we are; and of course the rights of women, indigenous people, and climate refugees, to make the transition as fair as possible. What else needs to be high on our list next year?
There’s a lot more we can do to pray for our governments before and during the COP talks themselves; to build more contact with them and lobby them before COP; to help change the mood in the media; to support each other to run and not grow weary. Each region takes a turn to host COP, and for COP29 it’s Eastern Europe’s turn. Then Brazil hope to host COP30 in the Amazon. Australia hope to host COP31 in partnership with other Pacific countries.
It was great working with so many people! With links for those with COP reports
A Rocha Ghana
A Rocha International
The Anglican Communion
CCOP - Christian Climate Observer Program
Climate Action Network International
Climate Action Network South Asia
Oil Change International
Vanessa Nakate from Rise Up Movement
(Vanessa, Tearfund, and Oil Change spoke at this event)
World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Centre
Zambia Youth Environment Network