Creation Care: A Worldwide Education
by Parker Williams,
Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Poplar Bluff
and Creation Care Ministry Commissioner
CCOP’s purpose is “to train, including with a Christian perspective, a new generation of Observers for the Paris Process so that the Church may make the most effective contribution possible to all subsequent COPs.” I will be sharing in the credentials of an NGO observer organization, officially recognized by The United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Action (UNFCCC). This means I will be attending the annual Convention of the Parties (COP) and granted access to the COP 26 conference grounds.
The “Parties” are the national governments who participate in the Paris Agreement and who thus send negotiators to the COPs. “The Paris Process” is a term which refers to all the work that the nations do, during or outside the COPs, to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement. Only governments are parties to the Paris Agreement, but the UNFCCC recognizes that many others have a lot at stake as well. They call us “Non-Party Stakeholders.” “Observer” is an official term with a long history at the United Nations.
Non-profit organizations, like our Christian ones, are given “Observer Status,” and are thus allowed to participate on a limited basis in the work of the UNFCCC. At a COP, the UNFCCC has invited us to “engage in:
- developing position papers and making formal submissions;
- holding bilaterals with government delegates;
- showcasing and advocacy through press conferences and side events and exhibits;
- making joint constituency statements in the plenaries; and
- preparing for dialogues and briefings.
The most important work of an observer, however, is not done at a COP, but rather from a COP. I will be reporting back to you and the Diocese about what I observe in an attempt to more effectively mobilize everyone for climate action. This experience will be very helpful for the work we are doing on the Creation Care Team here in The Diocese of Missouri.
Basically I will attempt to “interpret” what I observe through a biblical framework and to act prophetically and priestly.
Would you commit to praying for me, the conference, and the future of climate work in the Diocese of Missouri?