Responses to COP28

13 December 2023

COP28, the annual United Nations meeting where governments discuss how to limit climate change, has taken place in Dubai.

You can read about the meeting and its outcome here

The Methodist Youth President, Thomas Hart, offered the following response to the COP28 deal.

At the close of COP28, it is encouraging that there has been a novel deal struck, that encourages all countries to move away from fossil fuels. However, it is truly disappointing that governments have not collectively agreed to phase out fossil fuels completely. We have been blessed with a wonderful world that has been crafted by our Creator God, and it is time that global governments take collective responsibility, to stop the gluttonous nature of deals and proactively protect God’s World, our home.

The agreed deal must move away from fossil fuels promptly and fairly to protect those most affected by the climate crisis. Our UK government need to make sure that we decarbonise our economy, as well as providing adequate financial support developing nations to move to a more sustainable world.

Children and young people of the Methodist Church continually highlight their concern about our climate crisis and their passion for environmental justice. 3Generate gave children and young people the opportunity to send letters to their local MPs indicating issues that concerned them and a number of which, highlighted the climate crisis. It is important, that we hold our government and global authorities in prayer to make the actions and decisions, which are true to building God’s Kingdom on earth.

Dr Hamish Leese is the Action for Hope Implementation Officer, his job is to help the Methodist Church of Britain reduce its carbon emissions, aiming for net zero by 2030. He offers this reflection. 

As the dust settles on COP28 we are left to digest the agreement which was finally reached. It is clear that it falls well short of the decisive position we had hoped for, but there is a slight cause for optimism in the form of the agreed transition away from fossil fuels. It is easy to lose hope or despair at the lack of decisive international action to address climate change. While this is a natural feeling, and no-one should feel bad for entertaining these emotions for a while, it is also a call to action for all of us. It is more important than ever that we engage with politicians to demonstrate the importance of these issues, and do what we can as Methodist people to reduce our own negative impact.

As climate change once again leaves the news cycles it is vitally important that we hold our elected representatives accountable for the promises they have made, and that the transition is undertaken in a way which is equitable and genuinely listens to the needs and concerns of those most affected by climate change. As Methodists we have a deep commitment to the earth as part of God’s creation and our fellow humans around the world, and it is crucial that we do all that we can to minimise the damage we cause and speak with a credible voice on these issues.