WCC statement on COP27: “a critical occasion” to re-envision a roadmap for sustainable tomorrow

Photo: Valter Hugo Muniz/WCC

A World Council of Churches (WCC) statement on COP27 notes that there are communities and nations already facing catastrophic impacts of climate change but whose urgent appeals other members of the international community have failed to heed.

“COP 27 is a critical occasion for governments to together re-envision, develop, commit to and implement a roadmap towards a fossil fuel-free, post-growth, equitable and sustainable tomorrow, and to tackle the greatest existential challenge to life on the planet,” reads the statement. “In support of the efforts being undertaken at COP27, the WCC executive committee therefore calls on governments to deliver more ambitious commitments and effective action—especially by countries with both the greatest historical responsibilities for climate change and the largest financial and technological capacities—to rapidly reverse the rate of greenhouse gas emissions…”

The statement also calls for “sufficient, timely and additional climate finance for vulnerable and developing countries to enable them to mitigate and adapt to climate change, especially in the agricultural sector…”

The executive committee also urges a “loss and damage financing facility to compensate communities and countries on the frontline of climate impacts and to support their efforts in building resilience…” as well as “international cooperation to halt the expansion of fossil fuels now and manage a just transition away from coal, oil and gas.”

The WCC executive committee reiterated the call from the WCC 11th Assembly “for all member churches and ecumenical partners around the world ‘to give the climate emergency the priority attention that a crisis of such unprecedented and all-encompassing dimensions deserves…’ ”

The WCC executive committee, elected during the WCC 11th Assembly, held its first meeting on 7-11 November, focusing on follow up from the assembly, planning for 2023—including the budget and programme plans—and making statements that respond to critical situations affecting the fellowship of WCC member churches.