Sophie Pereira, a CAFOD delegate at COP26, is also a member of the Walsingham House at Abbotswick team. Here she talks about her experiences in Glasgow.
On the first weekend of November, I had the most incredible opportunity to travel to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference or otherwise known as COP26. A ‘COP’ means ‘conference of parties’.
Governments and negotiators from across the world travelled to the meeting to discuss how to keep temperature rises below dangerous levels and prevent the climate crisis from causing even worse catastrophes for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. I travelled as a CAFOD delegate (the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) and I met over 30 other delegates and spent the weekend with them.
Essentially, by the end of COP26, CAFOD hoped to achieve the following objectives:
- ‘Keep 1.5 alive’ – countries need ambitious plans to limit global temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees.
- Deliver the money promised to tackle the climate crisis – richer countries must mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance every year until 2025 to help low-income countries.
- Stop using fossil fuels once and for all – collectively commit to consigning fossil fuels to history.
So with all that in mind, I made my way to Glasgow. Initially, I was extremely nervous to attend this massive global event. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but shortly after arriving at Glasgow Central station, I was greeted by a tremendous protest. I spent some time standing in awe at the hundreds of people gathered, fighting for climate justice. It was quite intimidating to know I was going to be participating in that same protest the following day and would be surrounded by a sea of people.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at COP26. The energy was constantly electric and I found the most love and joy being with others. I built new friendships, learnt so much more about the ever-changing world and helped spread the message about building for the future and making our voices heard. I can only hope that the world leaders keep in their hearts the next generation, those who are affected most by the climate crisis, and the future of our common home.
To read the full article of Sophie’s experience, please visit the Diocese of Brentwood website by clicking here.