Justin Welby – 2022 Statement on COP27 (Archbishop of Canterbury)

The statement made by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, on 5 November 2022.

As global leaders gather at COP27, the world holds its breath. A world which has this year suffered further catastrophic flooding, drought, heatwaves and storms. A world already in crisis. A world which knows that we are perilously near the point of no return.

I’ve seen this myself just recently in Australia, whose great wealth is no protection against the flooding in New South Wales. And if it can happen in one of the most prosperous parts of the world, how much more devastating in one of the poorest like South Sudan, where more flooding has led to food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition.

Living as one human family, I pray that we will hear clearly the voices of those suffering on the brutal front line of climate change and climate injustice. I pray that together we will listen to young people and Indigenous Peoples. At this COP, hosted in Africa, the perspectives from that continent must be heard.

The climate emergency is an existential global threat that requires a global response, with radical action, imagination and justice. Let us together see justice done, so that countries can access new and fair finance for the loss and damage caused by climate change.

It is imperative that we seek justice so that those nations with greatest responsibility will take the lead, achieving net-zero carbon emissions and supporting other countries in this transition.

God calls us to embrace justice. Christian scripture describes how we share in the ‘renewed creation of heaven and earth with justice’ (2 Peter 3:13). Let justice flow so that we see human lives and hope restored, and the life of the earth itself protected and renewed.