Postponed COP26 inspires action

Faith representatives call on government to commit to ambitious emissions reductions to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees.

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has joined more than sixty UK faith representatives in writing to the prime minister about emission targets, as campaigners come together to mark the original date of the COP26 November climate talks. The letter calls on the government to commit to ambitious emissions reductions in line with the need to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries are required to put forward Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) stating the level of emissions cuts and adaptation measures they are committing to.

In a public letter, Paul Parker, recording clerk for BYM, and representatives from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities urged the UK government to show leadership by announcing an ambitious NDC as soon as possible.

The letter, initiated by Faith for the Climate and The Climate Coalition, is part of a concerted effort to put pressure on the government to take stronger action before the end of the year. Similar letters signed by health professionals and academics have also been sent to the prime minister.

The interfaith letter notes the efforts made by many faith communities to reduce their own climate impact, including by divesting from fossil fuels.

It warns that the international community and civil society ‘will assess the UK NDC against the UK’s “fair share” of the global effort of achieving 1.5 degrees’, based on its historic and current emissions and its wealth.

The COP26 climate negotiations were originally due to be held from 9-19 November 2020, but have now been postponed to next year.

As part of global efforts to organise ahead of COP26, Britain Yearly Meeting is also supporting From the Ground Up, an online gathering organised by the COP26 Coalition from 12-16 November.

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