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Why the moment is now

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In association with: Renew Our World

In November 2021, world leaders gathered in Glasgow at COP26 for the most important climate summit since the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’ and this year is the 26th COP climate summit of the United Nations.

The decisions world leaders will make at COP26 will determine whether we are still on course for catastrophic climate impacts, or whether we take a different path.

Why the moment is now

A changing climate and more extreme weather are not the problems of future generations – it is our problem now.

Our Tearfund global family through Renew Our World will be active on the ground at COP in Glasgow, lobbying and praying as the global church. These climate talks are key for building global consensus on climate action and justice. We need governments, businesses and communities to take this emergency seriously and act with urgency and as Christians we have a vital role to play. I love this quote from fellow Renew Our World member, Oscar Danladi from the Jos Green Centre in Nigeria;

‘As Christians we need to understand that creation care is a gospel issue, and an issue of justice. The church needs to know that we are all neighbours, that what we do impacts each other. Churches across the world have the potential to hold those in power to account and demand change.’

COP26 is particularly significant because it’s the first time countries are obliged to lay out concrete plans for reaching the targets they set five years ago in the Paris Agreement. That’s why Australia’s position and commitments are in the spotlight as we lag behind.

We want to see Australia play its part in building a sustainable future for all creation. We urgently need a national framework in Australia for addressing climate change, and better support and coordination in the transition to renewable energy. We can reset the path to end poverty and play our part as a nation with increased climate finance and a timetable to aid targets.

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Protecting the people and places we love

A changing climate and more extreme weather are not the problems of future generations – it is our problem now. The next decade of climate action is crucial for our planet and the people we love. We can’t be indifferent to the cries of the poor and the groans of our planet.

As a mother, I want my little boys to face a climate-safe future and continue to be able to appreciate God’s incredible creation. In the next decade, my little boys will become teenagers. For a safer climate future for us all, the next decade requires rapid action for transformation in our whole systems and ways of life. Will climate catastrophe be avoided? Will my generation have acted fast enough? What is my legacy for my sons' generation? Will they know this world and the natural beauty and peace that I enjoy?

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Does speaking up make a difference?

You may be feeling weighed down by all that is going on in the world right now.

You may be feeling frustrated by the lack of government action and powerless to do anything.

You may be wondering whether taking action really makes a difference?

  • My response is yes, do speak up.
  • My prayer is that we not tire of doing good.
  • We need you to add your voice.

We speak up as a faithful act, joined with prayer, and when we work together we can amplify our voices. That’s the power of joined-up efforts in campaigns.

Now is the time for Christians to step out with a vision of God’s justice, freedom and restoration.

Sign our Call for All Creation petition today and send a clear message to our Federal leaders that Australia needs a clear and robust framework for climate action.

Around the country, Tearfund advocates are meeting with their local Federal MP’s and are using the petition to show that a broader movement of people are backing them. At the same time, we are working with others in Australia and globally to make the case for greater action.

Please sign the petition today and ensure your voice is heard on urgent action as our political leaders make crucial decisions.

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Our Glasgow moment

The pandemic has shown us what we are capable of when the need is clear. This moment in Glasgow presents a profound opportunity. I do not want our inaction in Australia to set back the global efforts to respond to the climate crisis and cause further harm to people in poverty as they experience devastating impacts first and foremost.

We need to speak up and urge our leaders across the political spectrum to act with boldness and take the steps of transformation that will be needed across our society and economy to meet the climate challenge.

My prayer is that we as the Australian Church transform from being silent and indifferent to the climate crisis, to actually caring - realising we all have a crucial role to play.

Our moment is now.

Jo Knight is Tearfund Australia's Advocacy Director.

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By Jo Knight.