Our friends at Christian Climate Observers Program have sent this summary of yesterday’s events at COP26:
Jeffrey Lee, Phil Summerton, and Flo Wright
Today, CCOP participants had the opportunity to meet with Canadian Member of Parliament Mike Morrice, a recently elected member of the Green Party. During this meeting, he offered encouragement and highlighted some of his climate priorities. He spoke about the importance of holding large corporations accountable while upholding the rights of workers. A just transition from fossil fuels must include defending workers and ensuring economic well-being for all, and we are thankful for leaders that understand this important calling. At the conclusion of the meeting, we were blessed to be able to pray for him. Overall, we found Mike Morrice to be a humble and committed public servant.
One major and worthwhile discussion surrounding COP is that of equity and access. Mr. Morrice informed us that even as a Canadian MP he was struggling to get into many negotiations. This served as a stark reminder that many COP discussions are exclusive and activists have little say on the proceedings. Activists are some of the most important voices, yet many haven’t even made it to Glasgow yet. What’s more, those who are here have not been offered the chance to speak into these meetings that have real consequences for the future. Shilpita, a fellow CCOP participant, met a group of Chilean activists who were invited to negotiations but were not offered the chance to speak at all. From what we’ve witnessed, leaders want activists to be seen, but they do not always want to listen to their stories and experiences. It is also important to remember that these inequities have been exacerbated by uneven vaccine distribution and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. It has been a struggle to include many needed voices in these consequential negotiations.
COP26 is happening at a time of great turmoil. The pandemic is still happening and it will take a global response to see us through this time. In the same way, the environmental crisis requires a broad, coordinated response from all levels. We must acknowledge that we are members of a global community and that our actions impact our neighbors around the world and in our own neighborhoods. We are not in this alone and we cannot solve this without one another. In that spirit, please join us in lifting up these prayer requests.