We recognise that in many parts of the Anglican Communion, the devastating effects of climate change and other environmental challenges are an existential threat to the lives of communities and need urgent action. Building on the Fifth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations advocates for environmental and climate justice across the UN system. We do this across a number of different UN agencies and other opportunities
This year the Anglican Communion has a delegation attending the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland. Click here to find all the information you will need to keep you updated on what is happening, including an introduction to who will be there, policy documents and briefings, press releases, videos, and resources.
One major step forward for ACOUN’s engagement on climate action towards the end of 2018 was the application and subsequent admission of ACC as an accredited organisation to the UN Environment Programme, the leading global environmental authority which coordinates the UN environmental activities. This accreditation allows us to play a more active role in the working of the UNEP and particularly the UN Environmental Assembly, which takes place bi-annually. The most recent session was in March 2019 in Nairobi, at which we had an Anglican delegation present. Our engagement with UNEP will give the Communion a strategic platform to connect with the wider international community on climate justice issues.
The ACOUN and the Anglican Communion Environmental Network are both active participants in UNEP’s ‘Faith for Earth’ initiative, which offers faith actors and religious leaders the opportunity to work collaboratively with UN policy makers. In August 2020, ACOUN and ACEN staff participated in a strategy session organised by UNEP which offered the opportunity for faith actors to influence the drafting of UNEP’s 2022-2025 strategy.
Following on from our successful application to the UN Environment Programme, we have also applied for accreditation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as an observer organisation. If successful, the Anglican Consultative Council will be able to attend future Conference of Parties meetings (COP and CMP), beginning with COP26/CMP16 in 2021. COP26 will be held in Glasgow and is expected to be the most important climate change event since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015, bringing together world leaders, representatives of civil society, business leaders, and climate experts. Look out for more information about how to get involved in COP26 – coming soon!
The most recent General Assembly session, the major UN gathering of world leaders and UN member states in New York, featured a high-level climate action summit convened by the UN Secretary General. Ahead of the Summit, the Anglican Consultative Council submitted a statement which sets out the priorities and commitments of the Anglican Communion for the meeting. It’s our humble submission to the UN and Member States, as a member of broader civil society and also in order to show that faith communities are actively calling out for action by governments as well as urgently taking action themselves. It can be found by clicking here.
Ahead of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July, the Anglican Consultative Council submitted a statement to the Forum, urging member states to do more to support populations and communities affected by, or at risk of, climate-related displacement. It can be found by clicking here.
We ran a social media campaign featuring infographics of actions churches can take to promote creation care, particularly focused on the 2019 WED theme of beating air pollution. We compiled the tweets into a twitter moment, which you can see by clicking here.