Statement on Biodiversity COP16 and Climate COP29

Ahead of two major UN environmental conferences and responding to the intertwined biodiversity and climate crises, the World Council of churches has released a statement that calls upon churches, among others, to learn from Indigenous spiritualities and practices that safeguard biodiversity as well as to mobilise communities of faith to exert pressure and build political will for deep-seated and timely climate action.

4 December 2023, Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Representatives of the Pareci people – a name for Native American tribes in Mato Grosso, Brazil, pictured at the United Nations climate summit COP28, where they have arrived to speak to issues of deforestation, and protection of their native lands.

It also calls upon governments to resist corporate lobbying and act courageously  to address the threat to God’s creation and all life posed by the biodiversity and climate crises, to take a coordinated approach both at international and national levels to tackle biodiversity decline and climate change in a holistic way, and to define a clear pathway to a full, fast, fair and funded fossil fuel phase-out.

Life on Earth and the systems needed for life to flourish are at extreme risk. The intertwined crises of climate change and biodiversity loss pose the gravest threats to the ability of humans and much of the natural world to survive and flourish on Earth, God’s unique living creation.

Read the full statement from the World Council of Churches here. Available in Spanish here.

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