Twenty-three members of the Canada/US and Latin America regions of the LWCCN are in Madrid, Spain these next two weeks for the latest UN climate summit known as COP25. While they are official UN observers in the on-going negotiations of the Paris Agreement, they are primarily gathered as participants in the first ever Christian Climate Observers Program (CCOP).
Lowell Bliss (Eden Vigil) co-leads the program with Brian Webb (Climate Caretakers) and explains: “This is an idea which has been germinating since 2015 when many of us shared the remarkable experience of a Lausanne Base Camp at COP 21, the event which produced the Paris Agreement. The late John Stott in his final book understood Creation Care to be a ‘discipleship issue,’ and we realized that these COPs represent one of the only opportunities to ‘immerse’ a disciple in the world of climate action. We also realized that we needed a dedicated space to disciple others in a Christian and missional perspective on climate change, if in fact effective discipleship should look more like a practical apprenticeship in the marketplace rather than a knowledge-consumption in a classroom.”
Participants have taken part in a series of pre-COP webinars where they were introduced to the history of the Paris process and to the significance of COP 25 in particular. They also formulated individual vision statements, SMART goals, and tactics for using CCOP to better mobilize their home constituencies. They developed extensive communication plans and, with guidance from Leah Kostamo of A Rocha Canada, they were encouraged to make spiritual preparations for COP 25.
God proved himself faithful in helping CCOP make the last minute switch to Madrid, after the UNFCCC announced that Santiago, Chile would no longer be hosting the event. Please pray that the participants will fruitfully engage the four “challenges of realism and hope” that CCOP Leadership recently gave them: to struggle bravely and faithfully for the Paris Agreement; to bear witness with your presence that “we are still in!”; to diligently and enthusiastically communicate back home; and to allow yourself to be changed by CCOP 2019 and COP 25. Please pray as well for the local church training being organized by Juliana Morillo for Madrid Christians on the Saturday between the two weeks of the COP.
The five sponsoring partners of CCOP2019 are Climate Caretakers, Eden Vigil, Climate Witness Project (World Renew), WEA Creation Care Task Force, and Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, all working in association with the Lausanne/WEA Creation Care Network (LWCCN).
To subscribe to the newsletter (in English or Spanish) that CCOP will be publishing every day of the COP, visit our website: http://www.ccopclimate.org. To read the challenge letter mentioned above, click http://www.ccopclimate.org/stories-from-cop25/2019/11/25/a-letter-of-challenge-hope-and-realism-to-our-ccop-participants. To begin exploring bringing CCOP to your region of the LWCCN for COP26 in Glasgow, contact Lowell Bliss: email@example.com.