The Holy Father Pope Francis was the contributor to “Thought for the Day” within the Today Programme on Radio 4 recently. Although His Holiness will not be attending the Glasgow Conference in person, he will be sending a major address to the assembly. The Holy Sees’ delegation will be led by the Secretary of State.

The Bishops’ Conference, through CAFOD (Our National Catholic Agency for Overseas Development), are asking that we pray for the leaders who are gathered in Glasgow for COP26. We are asked to pray for the most positive outcomes on behalf of the people of our planet who are most at risk from the devastating effects of major change.

In his Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si” (*14), Pope Francis states the following: “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affects us all.”

COP26 is the United Nations climate change conference being held in Glasgow and is being attended by leaders from over 200 countries to discuss climate change and how to tackle the global ecological crisis. The conference follows on from a series of summits, including the Paris climate talks in 2015, where countries pledged to work together to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degree centigrade (i.e. above pre-industrial levels). If we exceed this threshold, millions of the most vulnerable people in our communities at home and abroad will be at risk of the devastating effects of climate change.

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A Prayer for the COP 26 Climate Talks.

Loving God, we praise your name with all you have created. You are present in the fabric of the whole universe, and in the smallest of creatures. We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us as stewards of creation. May the Holy Spirit inspire all political leaders at COP 26 as they seek to embrace the changes needed to foster a more sustainable society. Instil in them (and in us) the courage and gentleness to implement fairer solutions for the poorest and most vulnerable, and to commit their nations to the care of OUR COMMON HOME. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.