Cook sees climate justice as a spiritual challenge. “When we look at climate change, it’s really a symptom of a bigger issue: it’s how we live sustainably and justly on the earth,” she said. “The spiritual call gives as that strength to uphold humanity in this birth, this kind of recognition of how we are on this beautiful planet will define whether or not we can continue.”
It’s a deeply spiritual question because we need to uphold each other, Cook added.
“In the negotiations, it’s remarkable how dehumanized the language has become,” she said. “You need to humanize it.”
Cook believes that, when people of different faiths work together, they can form a very profound voice. “It’s also very hard to ignore,” she said. “Politicians find it very hard to ignore the faith voice because it seems more genuine and less political.”
God's creation is crying out to us, she added. “What is that we love—that’s hurting?”
It’s not just political—it’s witness, Cook added. “The answer is in the people,” she said. “The COP decisions will be as strong as people on the ground are pushing for.”
Cook finds deep meaning in ecumenical work, not only at COP but before and after.
“There is something in that faith community that gives us the strength to say, ‘we are here just for a small moment and we are here to bring God’s love into that world,’ ” she said. “We don’t have all of the solutions ourselves but we have that strength through our faith to love, to be compassionate, and to have a vision.”
She also shared how what it means to be part of the WCC’s ecumenical delegation attending COP27. “When I think of the World Council of Churches and the Quakers’ involvement in the World Council of Churches, and how powerful and special that is, that community—it gives me a community to keep going every day,” she said.