COP28: A Rocha and the SEL call to pray for the countries most vulnerable to global warming


As the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) on climate change approaches, scheduled for November 30 to December 12, 2023 in Dubai, A Rocha and the Support and Liaison Service (SEL) are launching a call for prayer for the nations most exposed to the environmental crisis. 

The 27th conference of the parties on climate change, COP28, will be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. A conference which has important stakes, both from an environmental and humanitarian point of view. In this context, The rock and the SEL (Mutual Aid and Liaison Service), organizations respectively dedicated to environmental protection and international solidarity, invite Christians to unite in prayer for the countries most vulnerable to global warming. An appeal supported by the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF).

faith in action

Faced with global warming, an ethical question arises: how to reduce poverty without worsening the environmental crisis? Because the poorest, although they emit the least greenhouse gases, disproportionately bear the burden of global warming. In an approach motivated by their faith "in a God who has entrusted human beings with the good management of his creation" and who calls them to love their neighbor, A Rocha and SEL take the floor "in the name of Christ to defend the cause of the unfortunate and the poor."

“We pray that those responsible gathered during these two weeks will implement decisions for the good of all and in particular of the most vulnerable, despite the problems of conflicts of interest which tarnish this COP.”

A difficult implementation

The two organizations recall that if "several commitments have been made for many years, including at the last COP27", their implementation "remains difficult".

It is for this reason that they call on Christians to pray "for the acceleration of the concrete implementation of measures, in France and in the world, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity, while supporting the poorest, here and there, to adapt to this crisis without them disproportionately bearing the burden.”

Among the projects that are slow to be implemented despite their importance in the fight against global warming, A Rocha and the SEL identify three to keep in prayer. The green fund, intended to finance the ecological transition of the poorest nations, remains largely underfunded despite promises. The “Loss & Damage” fund announced at COP27 is struggling to materialize, accentuating the difficulties of the most affected regions. And finally, the exit from fossil fuels, responsible for 75% of CO2 emissions, which remains a point of contention. The organizations are calling for prayers for a significant reduction in the use of these polluting energies.

Churches invited to pray on Sunday December 3 and 10

“Let us pray for the poorest countries which seek to develop and reduce poverty,” insist the two organizations at the end of their press release. If they write that they are "well aware of the many other challenges that exist, and that this environmental crisis is added to the multiple crises that our world is going through", A Rocha and the SEL nevertheless remind that "if real efforts are not quickly "at the height of the stakes, it risks supplanting many others."

The two organizations also urge places of worship in France linked to their networks to dedicate a time of prayer to this pressing issue on Sundays, December 3 and 10. 

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Shutterstock/ Ricochet64

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