Fr James Bhagwan at COP26

Rev. James Bhagwan, general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, addresses the High level Segment of COP26 on behalf of the Interfaith Liaison Committee.


We are in a climate emergency,” urges the message, which was read by Rev. James Bhagwan, general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, on behalf of the group. Fixated on profit, our extractive and ultimately unsustainable systems of production and consumption have led us today to this climate emergency.”

The message notes that humanity has been gifted with the ability to think and the freedom to choose. We must respond with the knowledge of science and the wisdom of spirituality: to know more and to care more,” reads the message. We see today that climate change is an ethical and spiritual matter.”

Any successful path to curb emissions must include an existential dimension, the message urges. The ethical and cosmological narratives to act are keys to a more sustainable future.”

The climate crisis is ultimately linked to a crisis of values, ethics and spirituality, the organizations reflected. As people of faith we have the vocation to care for our home, Mother Earth,” the message reads. When we care for our home, we care for the most vulnerable which includes the poor people of the world, the future generations and the ecosystems without voices of their own.”

In every faith there is a clear moral obligation to cooperate in the healing of people and the planet, the message continues. We want to contribute with a framework of deeply rooted hope,” the text reads. A hope that is based on science, the courage to act, and a defiant attitude founded on love.”

The message also calls industrialised countries to support vulnerable ones.

Love calls us to seek climate justice and restoration,” reads the text. Indigenous spirituality could restore our understanding of interdependence between land, ocean, and life, between generations before us and the ones to come.”

Love calls us to transformation of relationships, systems, and lifestyles, the message concludes. This transition away from a fossil fuel-based economy to a life-affirming economy must be just, securing livelihoods and wellbeing for all and not just some.”

Read the full Statement from the Faith-Based Organizations to COP26

WCC COP26 landing page