Displaying items by tag: Climate change
At the time of writing there are 16 days to the start of COP26 in Glasgow when leaders from 197 nations will assemble and decide what to do about climate change. This will be the largest gathering of world leaders ever to take place in the UK. We can pray according to 1 Timothy 2:1-2 that God will inspire all in authority with understanding, wisdom and discernment. May they be as the men of Issachar and understand the times and know what to do. Pray for God to give His church clear directions for prayer in accordance with His will in the days leading up to the conference and during the event, and for His Kingdom before and during the conference so that ‘as the ‘kings of the earth take counsel together’ they will know that ‘they are but men’ (Psalm 9:19-20) and that God’s sovereign purposes will prevail (Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 66:18).
A panel of hundreds of international scientists has released a report on climate change. The UN secretary general described the report as ‘code red for humanity’ the alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable.’ Words like ‘unprecedented’, ‘widespread’, ‘rapid’, and ‘irreversible’ abound in the report. We will reach a 1.5°C temperature rise in ten years, and however fast we act now, melting ice caps and rising sea levels will continue for thousands of years. Alongside this three senior Christian leaders have released a ‘Joint Message for the Protection of Creation’. The document quotes scripture frequently, emphasising our calling to ‘choose life, so that you and your children might live’ (Deut. 30:19), linking our care for the poor and the planet, and concluding with the challenge, ‘To whom much is given, much is required’ (Luke 12:48).
Australia is the most carbon-polluting nation in the world per capita, yet prime minister Scott Morrison may not attend the November landmark climate conference. He said he had not made any final decisions on attending, saying, ‘I have to focus on things here and with Covid. Australia will be opening up borders around that time. There will be a lot of issues to manage and I have to deal with those competing demands.’ Australia is expected to present its updated 2030 emissions cuts at the conference. It is one of the world's top exporters of coal and gas. Mr Morrison said he wants Australia to achieve net zero emissions ‘as soon as possible’, but he has not outlined any measures to do so and has not committed to net zero by 2050. A UN report ranked Australia last out of 170 member nations for its response to climate change.
Activists have begun two weeks of London protests 'targeting the root cause of the climate crisis'. On 24 August protesters lined London streets with placards, waved banners and erected obstacles to disrupt and block roads around Westminster. They blocked off roads, glued themselves to a giant table, and formed a human chain around the area cordoned off by police. Dozens were carried to police vans by officers who used loudspeakers to warn the crowd to leave or risk arrest. At least 10,000 people congregated near the rallies; by 26 August 196 people had been arrested. The group's co-founder gave a speech expressing solidarity with nations disproportionately affected by climate change. Pray for all the police forces to respond appropriately and proportionately to protest activity in the next fortnight, and for a workable policing plan.
Organisations have hit out against the government for ‘cosmetic projects and PR stunts rather than tackling climate change. Policy-makers waste ‘precious time’ by repeatedly missing targets on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy production, and waste management that is damaging Malta’s quality of life. This will continue for future generations if activities continue such as private car over-dependency, over-construction that causes ‘urban heat island effect’, using unsustainable materials, and not addressing water scarcity and food security, while making no real commitment to halt biodiversity loss.
A UN scientific report states that human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways. The landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade. But scientists say a catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast. They hope deep cuts in greenhouse gases could stabilise rising temperatures. For political leaders, the report is another in a long line of wake-up calls but, coming so close to November's COP26 global climate summit, it carries extra weight. UN secretary general António Guterres said, ‘If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as the report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success.’ China and India, two of the worst polluters, have not yet submitted updated climate plans.
The COP26 climate change summit will be held soon in Glasgow. Just a few hundred miles away in the North Sea, a particularly thorny problem is developing. Approval for developing the Cambo oilfield was given twenty years ago, and a regulator is due to give final approval, releasing approximately 800 million barrels of oil for Shell and Siccar Point Energy. Ministers and advisers insist that the approval of Cambo is entirely in the hands of the oil and gas regulator. But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is accusing Boris Johnson of delivering a cabaret of soundbites rather than the global leadership necessary to make the climate change summit a success. There is a near-impossible balancing act for the Government to protect its credibility while urging other countries to increase emission reduction.
On 23 September many people across the British Isles, young and not so young, will be interceding for the 196 nations and around 30,000 negotiators in the COP26 climate change conference from 31 October to 12 November. There have been numerous pre-conference prayer gatherings via Zoom for many months. Prayer changes things and we need to pray for climate changes. May many more catch the vision of lifting the Lordship of Jesus over all planned and unplanned meetings throughout the conference. May it accelerate the phasing-out of coal and peat, curtail deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles, and encourage investment in renewables. Pray also for countries to make good on their promises to mobilise at least $100bn climate finance per year by 2020. For further information, click the ‘More’ button.
There is more flash flooding, partly caused by climate change. Parts of London and the south of England were left under water and roads became impassable this week. Just 30cm of water is enough to move a car. Infrastructure and transport networks were damaged. London hospitals asked patients to stay away after they lost power. Urban areas experience ‘surface water’ flooding because they have a lot of hard surfaces - paved front gardens, car parks, roads and high streets. On 28 July several towns in Scotland were flooded, with more to come. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-57970845 Reading University says urban areas could benefit from permeable pavements and green roofs which can help rainwater to soak away rather than causing floods. Weather and flood forecasting has improved rapidly, and it is now possible to forecast surface water flooding events in advance.
250 deaths have been reported across the Pacific northwest. Unprecedented numbers have died in Canada from unbearable heat that has smashed temperature records. Vancouver police responded to over 130 sudden deaths. Casualties were mostly elderly or those with health conditions a contributing factor. British Columbia broke temperature records 3 days in a row (49.6C or 121.3F). A spontaneous wildfire forced the village of Lytton to evacuate on 1 July, a day after it recorded the country's highest-ever temperature. The fire spread through the village of 250 people in just 15 minutes. The USA also has record highs; fatalities will rise as some areas have yet to collate the numbers. Pray for those without air conditioning and the families of heatstroke victims. Pray for fire brigades working to prevent wildfires and for communities to help each other to stay cool. May relatives and neighbours recognise danger signs and ensure the vulnerable stay in the shade, wear a hat, and other things they may need reminding of.