What is COP26?

COP26 is the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which is being held in Glasgow from the 1-12th November 2021. COP refers to the decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. At the summit, delegates including heads of state, climate experts and negotiators will come together to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. As well as the negotiations, there will also be space for countries, international organisations and other delegates to showcase climate action, highlight diverse climate change issues and share knowledge. (Information taken from ukcop26.org)

Why is COP26 important?

Despite steps being taken to reduce the effects of climate change, not enough is being done. Particularly in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and recovering from a global recession, it is more important than ever to mitigate climate risks and to bring about a global green recovery. In particular, the Paris Agreement made in 2015, following COP21, set a framework whereby all countries are asked to submit renewed commitments to action every five years. These are called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The current NDCs are the only ones we have so far, and they do not go far enough. At the level of ambition we have at present, we will still see an increase in global average temperatures of past 3 degrees. This year is the first time countries must update their commitments. It’s really important that countries close the gap - that the level of commitments match the level of ambition needed to limit warming to two degrees. This means this year is essentially the first time we get to see if the Paris Agreement works - if the major countries fail to raise their ambition, the countries most affected by climate change will lose trust in the international process.

What is a relay?

A relay is like a pilgrimage but split up into smaller sections. We wanted to do something that connects us with one of the oldest traditions in Christianity, whilst bringing it into a 21st Century context. This may involve people doing small walks between towns to raise awareness in their local communities, or doing longer journeys (by foot, or by bike!) over counties (or countries!) to campaign for climate justice.

Why are we running a relay to COP26?

The climate crisis is a reflection, and a cause, of deep injustice in the world. This crisis arises from our abuse of God’s creation, and our broken relationship with our neighbours worldwide who suffer most from its consequences. We are convinced of the Biblical mandate to care for creation, and lament its exploitation. We believe in God’s imperative call for justice on the earth, and repent of our callousness. We are organising this Relay to COP26 to show we care about climate justice and creation care. We want to see systematic change on a global and a local scale. We hope that by running this relay, we can raise awareness of COP26 and our imperative as Christians to engage in creation care theology, individually and corporately.

Who can get involved in this relay?

Anyone can get involved! Although we are all 18-30 within YCCN, we are not restricting participation to this age range. We are seeking to make this relay as inclusive, accessible, and diverse as we can. If you're not sure if you can get involved in the physical relay, don't worry! You can still support us in other ways. Please still register your interest with us and make it clear that you would like to support this.

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