Make COP26 Count FAQ

More information and FAQ

 

Why now? Why COP26?

What does the Make COP26 Count programme look like?

What is the commitment?

Key Dates

Who are Hope for the Future and USPG?

 

Why now? Why COP26?

In November 2021, the UK will host the postponed COP26 in Glasgow. Described as the ‘Olympic Games of climate change policy’, the COP26 summit has been described as the most important gathering on climate change since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015. At the launch of COP26 Sir David Attenborough said: “We don’t need to emphasise …that the longer we leave it –not doing things but going on talking about the problems – the worse it’s going to get. And in the end, unless we do something, it becomes insoluble. Now is the moment. Now, Glasgow becomes extremely important.”

As the hosts of COP26 (which stands for Conference of Parties) the UK government have a major diplomatic and political role in the success of these UN international negotiations which govern the ambition and action for climate justice of countries globally. As UK citizens this gives us a unique opportunity.

We have an important window of time to communicate the urgency of climate change with our local politicians and to work with our elected representatives to encourage decisive action on climate change in the run up to COP26. We can make sure that the UK government has the mandate to push for stronger action for climate justice. 

Christians across the world challenge the UK church to act on climate change. The UK has both historic and contemporary responsibility for the impacts of climate change; a legacy of promoting environmental degradation through colonial resource extraction and cash crop production, and a present duty to utilise its position of global influence to mitigate climate risk.

In solidarity with our global partners, USPG and Hope for the Future are inviting churches to join with those around the world and use the time before COP26 to heed the call to act.

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What does the Make COP26 Count programme look like?

Make COP26 Count will look different for each church community. We meet your church where you are and we will work together to discern the best paths of action for you. At the same time, we want to provide a space for participating churches to meet (virtually) and journey together – sharing our experiences, successes and frustrations and being inspired and challenged by each other and global climate activists.

Make COP26 Count draws together the spiritual, practical and political and seeks to enable holistic church action.  Over the 10-month programme your church is invited to undertake a spiritual, practical and political action*. We have found that church communities find it easier to work with their MP when they have already undertaken events or actions which they can then share. This could include:

Spiritually – participate in a Climate Sunday event

Engage your whole congregation in matters of climate justice and join churches across the UK who will be hosting a Climate Sunday event in the run up to COP26. It is hoped that 10,000 churches across the UK will hold a service focused on climate justice to explore the theological and scientific basis of the care of creation and to pray and commit to action.

 

Practically – determine a priority action for your congregation

Many churches will already be taking action for climate justice. For those who wish further support we can accompany you to start acting as a congregation. Examples of actions may include:

  • Registering and creating a plan to work towards Eco Church accreditation (or a similar scheme)
  • Using energy footprint tools to completing an Energy Audit of your church and create a plan to reduce emissions to Net Zero by 2030
  • Run an energy switch day event (moving energy providers to renewable energy)

 

Politically – engage your local politician

Receive comprehensive support from Hope for the Future for a political engagement which could include:

  • Facilitate a meeting with your MP about your church engagement and suggest potential written question to submit to parliament
  • Organise a virtual panel event with your MP on behalf of your church and local area
  • Run a school or youth group workshop with your MP in attendance

 

Share this experience with other programme participants and USPG's global partners:

  • Monthly virtual meet-ups with other participants and global partners starting Jan 2021
  • Relevant resources and regular communications
  • Participant platform to share knowledge

*We acknowledge that different churches and communities will be at different stages of climate action; for some your engagement with us may be your first step, for others this may be an engagement following years of action. We want to meet you where you are and accompany you to take this further.

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What is the commitment?

We ask you to be available for the duration of the programme (January – November 2021). Participation requires a commitment to undertake action as a church congregation and your  political engagement. You may need to check with relevant people within your church in order to be able to make this commitment. Part of the preparation for the programme will be a conversation with Hope for the Future this year about which action you would like to be supported to make.

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Key Dates

The timing of monthly calls may vary, depending on the timezones of global partners who are joining. We will do our best to give advance notice.


Monthly Calls 2021

Monday 11 January
Monday 8 February
Monday 8 March
Monday 12 April
Monday 10 May
Monday 14 June
Monday 12 July
Monday 13 Septembe

Additional Dates

Sunday 21 February - Climate Sunday
Tuesday 23 March - Political Session 1, 11am and 5pm
Tuesday 27 April - Political Session 2, 11am and 5pm

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Who are Hope for the Future and USPG?

Hope for the Future is a political engagement charity originally set up by a group of Yorkshire churches. They now work nationally to train, support and equip individuals and groups to build relationships with their elected representatives on climate change. Their support covers everything from drafting letters to secure meeting dates, to the organisation of events on behalf of local community groups. For more information visit: www.hftf.org.uk

Founded in 1701, USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential and champion justice. Climate justice is a key advocacy priority of USPG.

USPG and Hope for the Future have been working together since 2014.

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