November 6–18, 2022, representatives from countries around the world will journey to Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the United Nations COP27 meeting. Together, they will discuss ways to accelerate global efforts to confront the climate crisis. Also in attendance are youth, Indigenous groups, academics, artists and others who will dialogue with each other, raise awareness, educate, and present workshops and cultural performances around this urgent issue. Some stakeholders have also been invited to take part in COP27 discussions about climate change, its impacts, how to address it, and ways to accelerate climate action. What an inspiration!
Let’s seize this opportunity to consider what we can do too. As we already know, the global climate emergency calls all of us to do our part. So, let’s get involved!
What Exactly is COP27?
COP27 is the next summit of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the governing and highest decision-making forum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The “parties,” or participatory governments, include the UN Member States who have signed the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol or the Paris Agreement.
What Areas are Being Addressed at COP27?
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi notes, “The world has come a long way in the fight against climate change and its negative impacts on our planet; we are now able to better understand the science behind climate change, better assess its impacts, and better develop tools to address its causes and consequences.” Building on this knowledge, COP27’s focus covers four critical action areas:
- mitigation (reducing and preventing the emission of greenhouse gases);
- adaptation (reducing the effects of climate change);
- finance (improving financial support for the needs of developing countries); and
- collaboration (bringing together governments and other stakeholders).
Who Can Get Involved? Everyone!
As Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Siʹ reminds us, we are all called to journey together to care for our common home. We are deeply connected to each other and the natural world, so “the environmental crisis and social crisis are two sides of the same coin,” Pope Francis shared on Twitter.
Every person is invaluable to the righting of our planet and society; this includes people of faith. We can inspire others, create global structures of collaboration, share the voices from the margins, and motivate the world to take transformative action. In fact, there will be a large Catholic contingent present at COP27, notes Bill O’Keefe, Catholic Relief Services’ executive vice president for Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy. And let’s not forget that the summit takes place in the Sinai peninnsula, where, according to Abrahamic faith traditions, God spoke to Moses, claimed the land as Holy Ground, and launched a great movement.
Our time is now, to act for our planet and all people.
What Can We Do?
The Justice Coalition of Religious, comprising nongovernmental organizations and religious congregations, produced a COP27 guide for religious and lay people alike. Here are some highlights that we think YOU might be interested in knowing about how to get involved.
Webinar: Protecting Communities in the Clean Energy Transition
In anticipation of COP27, this webinar will outline the choices we face as a global society and suggest actions and directions that can help us transition our energy, transportation and social sectors to renewable means, without destroying people and the Earth which we all share. Join this conversation for an inspiring and important step to ensure that the necessary transition does not exacerbate the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth.
Global Online Prayer Vigil For COP27
Join Catholic religious delegates at COP27 and your sisters and brothers around the world in an online prayer service for fruitful dialogue in Egypt and inspired responses toward Earth justice in every nation.
Read about it!
Check out this resource to learn more about the expectations of COP27 to address accountability and solidarity!
Reflect on it!
The Dominican Leadership Conference has provided reflections and videos for each day of the conference. Do your part and reflect and pray as a part of our global community!
Get Active on Social Media
Raise awareness for the event by posting your own prayer intention for climate change with a photo of you praying shoeless and outdoors! Tag @COP27P and type your intention with the format: “Praying on this #holyground for...” and finish the sentence with your prayer!
Implement Simple Habits
During Laudato Siʹ Week, we shared Seven Simple Habits to Help the Earth. Let’s revisit some of those easy activities and set a goal to put a few into practice during the COP27 meetings November 6–18.
If you need some inspiration from the Sisters of the Holy Cross, we recommend you spend some time exploring our Laudato Siʹ Action Plan. Read about the commitments and initiatives from our sisters across the globe. Be inspired, reflect and commit to your own Laudato Siʹ initiatives as we cheer on the stakeholders at COP27 to fulfill their pledges and implement immediate commitments!
As a community, let’s keep journeying together. Educating ourselves through webinars, sharing resources with friends and families, getting active on social media, and implementing our own actions and commitments shouldn’t be overwhelming. Remember, we are all in this together and we can support each other along the way. Now let’s get going because, after all, Our time is now.