Policy Priorities for 27th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, November 2022
The Episcopal Church is committed to growing loving, liberating and life-giving relationships across the human family and with all of God’s creation. Our commitment to the call of Jesus has led us to engaging in mitigation and right sizing our lives as individuals and in our ministries, standing with frontline communities in laboring for environmental justice, ending environmental racism and finding a swift and just solution to the climate crisis.
During the COP27 negotiations, we urge Parties and all stakeholders to embrace these priorities:
- ACCELERATE AMBITION. We urge ALL stakeholders – member states, private sector, civil society and individuals— to accelerate ambition, slash emissions and reduce carbon footprints to keep global temperature rise to 1.5C. We urge member states to fulfill their Paris Agreement commitments and radically enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), particularly through nature-based solutions, sustainable cities, and the blue economy. We applaud ambitious commitments by member states, including the U.S.’s NDC of 50-52%.
- INCREASE SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITIES EXPERIENCING LOSS AND DAMAGE. We urge all stakeholders to “leave no one behind” in accordance with Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, by prioritizing and sustaining multilateral commitments to the most vulnerable populations. We urge member states to offer generous political and financial support for international mechanisms and strive for accountable and effective governing structures. We encourage UN officials and negotiators to recognize the unique contributions of faith-based actors in confronting climate change and to work with them in responding to those facing climate grief and trauma.
- PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND AFFIRM ECOJUSTICE IN ADDRESSING ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION. We commend member states who have committed to adaptation and mitigation solutions and ask for swift action, significantly increased adaptation finance and support for multinational and multi-sectoral initiatives. We call on negotiators to affirm climate justice, reject environmental racism and prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable, including small island states and least developed countries, financially impoverished communities, frontline residents, migrants, BIPOC communities (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), youth, women and people with disabilities. We urge negotiators to design solutions that protect the human rights and authority of Indigenous peoples and local communities, respecting the principle of Free Prior and Informed Consent mandated by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We ask negotiators to ensure a just transition for fossil-fuel dependent communities.
FULFILL CLIMATE FINANCE COMMITMENTS AND STRENGTHEN MECHANISMS. We urge member states to fulfill their pledges to mobilize $100 billion, pledges to the Green Climate Fund and other climate finance mechanisms and to enhance their reporting capacities to improve honest tracking, transparency and accountability.
In our commitment to lead sustainable lives, The Episcopal Church is taking thoughtful action and making choices that right-size our impact on the Earth, bearing witness to the challenges facing our frontline communities, strengthening the adaptive resilience of climate-impacted peoples and supporting vulnerable populations facing irreparable loss and damage.
- Our churchwide Covenant for the Care of Creation invites individuals, churches, dioceses and Episcopal institutions to commit to deeper formation, public advocacy, and mitigation.
- Over 2,000 households and congregations are measuring their carbon footprint via our Carbon Tracker.
- We have set and are working towards church-wide goals for achieving net carbon neutrality by 2030.
- We support rainforest protection in the Amazon and the Anglican Communion Forest initiative.
- We are planting “Good News Gardens” and partnering locally to improve access to good, affordable food.
Follow The Episcopal Church’s COP27 delegation on Twitter and Facebook using #EpiscopalClimate. For year-round information on Episcopal environmental justice, follow @EpiscoClimate on Twitter and Episcopal Creation Care on Facebook. For UN-focused COP updates, follow @EpiscopalUN on Twitter and Facebook and #EpiscopalUN.
How is our Church implementing the Paris Agreement and addressing the climate emergency?
- Enacting churchwide resolutions and policies on climate, environment and sustainable development.The Episcopal Church’s governing bodies affirmed support for the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goals beginning in 2016. Since 2018, our governing bodies have passed more than 25 resolutions relating to creation care, from adaptation projects to fossil fuel divestment, carbon tracking to carbon sequestration, ending environmental racism and supporting the rights and needs of Indigenous peoples and women, carbon-intensive lending, endorsing and encouraging green deal legislation, and just transition.
- Partnering with the United Nations, UNFCCC and UNEP as an observer. The Episcopal Church is a Christian denomination with 2 million members in 17 countries in North America, Latin America & the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. It enjoys ECOSOC accreditation and DGC association with the UN, and observer status with the UNFCCC (since 2017) and UNEP (since 2020). The Church promotes environmental priorities across multiple UN frameworks and meetings, including the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the High-Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Participating annually at COPs since COP21 and the Paris Agreement. Beginning with COP21 in 2015, The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop has sent delegations to the annual UN Climate Change Conferences to advocate for strong and just climate policies. The Church also educates Episcopalians about the COP negotiations and opportunities to engage with Paris Agreement goals in their homes, communities and churches.
- Collaborating with ecumenical, interfaith and civil society partners. As a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion (third largest Christian communion, with 85 million members in 165 countries), The Episcopal Church joins with Anglican and other faith-based partners in supporting spiritual approaches to climate action and advocating for climate friendly policies and practices. At COP27, The Episcopal Church is partnering with the Anglican Communion, ACT Alliance/ World Council of Churches/Lutheran World Federation ecumenical delegation, and the UNFCCC Interfaith Liaison Committee for joint advocacy, social witness, prayer and worship.
- Accelerating ambition targets. The Episcopal Church has raised ambition towards implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency through resolutions and is developing a churchwide ambition as part of our Creation Covenant.
- Supporting the Green Climate Fund. The Episcopal Church has urged support for the Green Climate Fund in past years through its Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN), a network of Episcopalians that organizes grassroots advocacy efforts directed toward U.S. government officials. We ask the U.S. to fulfill its unmet $2 billion pledge.
- Promoting adaptation and mitigation. The Episcopal Church funds projects to advance climate change education, advocacy and adaptation, and awards grants to ministries undertaking innovative environmental work. Between 2015 and 2021, the Church allocated $1.5 million for ecojustice work, pioneering networks, educational initiatives, and programmatic engagement around environmental stewardship. The Episcopal Church supports a Carbon Tracker, designed by the Diocese of California, to mobilize individuals, households, faith communities and the Church.
- Helping people face Loss and Damage. Episcopalians follow Jesus’ example in prioritizing concern for the most marginalized and vulnerable. As more and more people suffer from climate-induced Loss and Damage, the Church is providing hope and practical action, offering teachings on faith and creation, hosting community centers for action and refuge, and offering trauma counseling, liturgies, prayer and spiritual support for climate grief
- Standing with communities at risk. The Episcopal Church is a strong partner in the Faith for the Arctic Network, a coalition of religious organizations committed to permanently safeguarding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and supporting the Gwich’in people, an Indigenous Alaskan population heavily impacted by climate change. The Church also supports fossil-fuel dependent communities, understanding that a just transition must account for their needs.
For more information, contact our Presiding Bishop’s delegation leadership at COP27:
- The Right Reverend Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Diocese of California and COP27 Head of Delegation, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Rebecca Blachly, Director, Office of Government Relations, Office of the Presiding Bishop, email@example.com
- Ms. Phoebe Chatfield, Associate for Creation Care, Office of the Presiding Bishop, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Lynnaia Main, Episcopal Church Representative to the United Nations, Office of the Presiding Bishop, email@example.com
- The Reverend Melanie Mullen, Episcopal Church Director for Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care, Office of the Presiding Bishop, firstname.lastname@example.org