How Are Faith Leaders Turning COP21 Promises Into Action?

There were mixed emotions after the Paris agreement with many people of faith trying to determine what exactly an 'agreement' meant for the climate. It was, however, the largest showing of world leaders ever with delegates working day and night to find solutions to the world's biggest issue. EcoAmerica's Vice President of Development, Peggy Knudson, and Founder Bob Perkowitz were among them, sharing in one of the most profound statements on climate to date. 

While lacking a legally binding framework, the convening was undoubtedly one of great faith. Grace Ji-Sun Kim, an associate professor of theology at Earlham School of Religion, shared her Paris experience in an article for Sojourners explaining why people of faith may just be what turns the COP21 promise into action. 

WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit explained, “The human rights to have basic needs met—food, clean water and air, health services, and more—are limited or violated by climate change already for many people in the world…” A sentiment echoed by Chien-Cheng Yang of the Tzu Chi Foundation, a Buddhist humanitarian organization, who explained that “it is absolutely imperative—for the sake of planet Earth and all life inhabiting it—that this year’s COP be less about discussion and more about action.” Check out Grace Ji-Sun Kim's full coverage and insightful reflection with our partner Sojourners Magazine.

We'll Always Have Paris (But Is That Enough?)

Grace Ji-Sun Kim | Sojourners

I LANDED IN Paris on Dec. 3, barely three weeks after the mass murder there of 128 people by armed extremists. On these same streets now gathered thousands from around the world—including from across the faith world—to hammer out an international agreement on climate change.

After checking in to my hotel, I made my way to the grand Notre Dame Cathedral for the ecumenical worship service organized by the Council of Christian Churches in France. While still blocks from the church, I began to hear the boisterous ringing of bells. Such joyous clanging from Notre Dame reminded the whole world that peace and hope were still possible, both on the earth and with the earth.

And the Climate Change Conference in Paris—COP 21, as it’s known—offered a needed opportunity to take a key step toward peace with the earth. The window to avoid total climate disruption is closing faster than many of us imagined possible.

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