Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
It is appropriate that we focus on this goal during the run-up to the United Nations
Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) November meeting in Glasgow UK when international leaders will review their response to the climate crisis. Recent months have been marked by extremes of high temperatures, resulting in storms, wildfires, droughts, melting ice caps and rising sea levels. The Paris Agreement of 2015 included commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to below 2⁰C per year. More recently the Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change (IPCC) urged us to aim for 1.5⁰C per year.
Climate change is now a climate crisis, a climate emergency. It affects every country, and particularly the most vulnerable in society, especially women. For women are often the ones who struggle to grow food in the parched earth, walk miles to fetch water from wells that are running dry, feed and clothe their families with reduced income, care for those who are sick, and suffer violence through conflicts. Yet their voices are often not heard. They are not fully consulted when decisions are made at national level.
Creation cries out for help. Creation needs us to act. Time is running out. But we can still make a difference, by urging our leaders to transform policies of energy, forestry, transport , food, agriculture and industry to reduce our carbon emissions.
The Methodist campaign, ‘Climate Justice for All’ (CJ4A), provides excellent written and video resources and proposes two things to world leaders to achieve justice for all:
- That the highest emitting countries be the most ambitious in reducing carbon to net-zero
- That communities on the front lines of the climate crisis be equipped for the changes that they are experiencing.
Psalm 65: 5-13
We pray for those preparing to attend COP 26.
Give them wisdom, courage and determination, open minds and clear vision.
Help us all to listen to those who have experience of climate change,
call on our representatives to act to bring about positive change
and commit to make changes in our personal life
so that the decisions we all make will result in climate justice for all. Amen
If you have not done so already, watch Day 2 of our recent online event ‘A New Vision for a Sustainable Future’ and hear from various speakers how we can respond to the climate emergency. It is accessible from our website.
Speak up in your church community about the need to care for God’s creation.
If possible, lobby your government to take action to reduce global warming.
To find out more about Goal 12 and other Sustainable Development Goals visit: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment
The World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women supports the Sustainable Development Goals.