Praying for COP 26

We all know, we’ve known for months, that something called COP26 is happening in November in Glasgow. (The Pre-COP conference is happening NOW in Milan.)

How much more do we know? Until writing this post I didn’t even know what COP stands for (“Conference of the Parties.”)

It is an international summit dealing with climate change, and it’s hosted by the government of the UK, whose record isn’t the worst, but isn’t that great either.

Among the things you and I can do is write to our MPs, try not to buy or use single-use plastic (etc) and glue ourselves to roads if we feel inclined.

If we are religious people, we can also pray.

This is part of a Franciscan prayer from Christian Aid:

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all peoples… May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been looking for a nice simple but practical prayer diary for COP26, and maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but I haven’t found one. There’s good stuff on the Christian Aid and Tear Fund websites and

But it’s still not quite what I wanted, so I’m having to make my own prayer plan, and here it is.

SUNDAY: Focus on God. Thank Him for creation, appreciate creation. Repent for our misuse of His gifts, and our fellow people.

MONDAY: Pray for Glasgow and the preparations. The people getting ready, from police to cleaners, from taxi drivers to reporters to pizza deliverers. And the people preparing briefing papers or negotiating positions in their home countries. This is the conference website:

TUESDAY: Practicalities of the conference: for protection from terrorism and covid in particular, but also from other dangers (food poisoning? Microphones malfunctioning?)  For communication over barriers of language, culture, and frequent political or personal dislike. For family members left at home.

WEDNESDAY: For the decisions that need to be made and the challenges faced. For progress in particular from countries like China and Australia, but not them alone. For a determination to face down the interests of big business; for world leaders who dislike each other to work together.

THURSDAY: For public opinion – for all the desperate and determined protesters (Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain and others), for all those who raise awareness; for media reporting and social media. For the teenagers who are in despair.

FRIDAY: For justice for the poor to be at the centre of the conference’s concerns. For world leaders to care for those who have no voice, who will be flooded or baked – or caught in wars over fertile land and water supplies.

This is part of a speech made by a Ugandan activist in Milan:

This is the website of the Young Christian Climate Network   who organised a relay march through Britain to Glasgow, and are calling on the UK government to:

  1. Reinstate the aid budget to 0.7% GDP
  2. Secure agreement from rich countries to meet and exceed the decade-old commitment of $100bn a year for climate finance
  3. Provide finance for climate-induced loss and damage; the costs incurred by climate impacts which cannot be adapted to.
  4. Push for the debts of the world’s poorest countries to be cancelled so they can better confront the climate crisis and other urgent priorities

This is the website of something called the Energy Transitions Commission:

SATURDAY: For every person, company, department, church and government as we move on.

So, more succinctly, I shall try to:

SUNDAY: Look to God

MONDAY: Pray for the conference preparations

TUESDAY: Pray for the conference practicalities

WEDNESDAY: Pray for the leaders present and their decisions

THURSDAY: Pray for the watching and worrying world

FRIDAY: Pray for a priority for the poor

SATURDAY: Pray for the time afterwards.

The conference starts on Monday 31st October. That gives me four weeks from this Sunday.

Love from the PPI Blogger

PS My apologies for pushing the comments on the Fifth Commandment on to next time!

  • Matthew Perry

    1st October 2021 at 8:57 pm Reply

    Thank you, good suggestions

  • Stephen Sheridan

    3rd October 2021 at 7:25 am Reply

    Sometimes prayer is the only thing that can be offered. I have a friend of Afghan heritage who managed to get his family over the border into Pakistan before Kabul fell is now spending all his time trying to help them. I’ve offered to help sponsor them to come here. I can’t actually offer accommodation as I am now separated and renting myself. They want to remain close to the country as everything the family has worked for for generations is tied up in their village, but all the lives of the women have been ruined, one cousin was two weeks away from getting a law degree – now she can’t finish the degree and even if she could that legal system is destroyed and replaced by arbitrary sharia decrees from illiterate old men who practise an extreme form of Deobandi Islam alien to Afghanistan funded by the Gulf states and a Pakistani military paranoid about Indian influence. Pakistan a country with nuclear weapons that operates as a Chinese protectorate and which is one of the biggest recipients of the UK aid budget. A country whose former playboy leader now allows vicious misogynistic abuse in his country to avoid being deposed – a rich and unprincipled coward whom our establishment is too feeble to dare criticise given the exhaustion of our civilisation by illegal wars designed to make some rich people even richer and to allow a host of bourgeois-run NGOs feel better about themselves, while merely displaying a depth of historical and cultural ignorance that should shame them into doing something physically productive to help people.

    I really admire you for the depth of effort and love you have poured into the prayers for COP26, but sadly my feelings about the event itself cannot allow me to join you as I see it as achieving nothing except allowing a lot of rich monopolist virtue-signallers to fly in on carbon-belching private jets and then tell us how great they are while the working class in this country are condemned to fuel poverty and shortages and poor countries remain unable to acquire the electricity that would make their lives more survivable and liveable. The most important aspect – namely China and India signing up to come off coal, simply won’t happen as they will quite rightly say to the West that it is their turn to lift their people out of poverty and that requires energy.

    As for the UK, the current “renewables” are an illusion:
    -hydro-electric is great, but there aren’t enough fast flowing rivers to supply the world
    -wind power is too intermittent, can’t be stored and the infrastructure decays too quickly and consumes too much carbon energy in its construction
    -solar would be ideal for the hot deserts, but fails for the same reason as wind
    -biofuels are a sick joke as they create loads of carbon and reduce food production: the most egregious example of this in our own country is a converted coal station that is classed as ‘renewable’ and burns up pulped wood pellets from Canadian forests, transported here by oil-belching transport ships
    -the nuclear plants currently being built will take too long to come on stream.

    So we are stuck with Putin’s expensive gas, no storage and a freezing winter ahead. This is what happens with decades of political incompetence and media ignorance/propaganda. With perfect timing, we have a Marie Antoinette-style spouse of a philandering Prime Minister in charge of our energy policy and a mainstream media unwilling to tell the grim truth. That truth will finally out this winter though, quite probably during the COP26 conference itself, when the only back-up plan is a range of diesel generators that the National Grid have been paying companies to keep on standby for many years. It will not exactly be green!

    So instead of COP26 I am going to pray for three miracles.
    First that the effects of climate change can be mitigated sufficiently that humanity gets a warning about waste and greed but avoids a Flood-like disaster: after all didn’t God tell us we wouldn’t suffer that again in the Bible? Second that we finally make an energy breakthrough that makes energy cheap and abundant with universal sources of fuel that mean no area of the planet has a monopoly. This might come from Thorium or Fusion reactors which could then crack water to create hydrogen as vehicle fuel with only water as their emissions. And third (the most miraculous) that the leaders of the world quit pushing their greedy arrogant self-interest and apply their limited intelligence to addressing the world’s energy crisis in a practical way. If a monopolist can send himself and his mates into orbit for a laugh – then that should not be impossible. A dream perhaps – but one worth praying for because the alternative is a self-induced Mad Max-style future for the planet.

    May God’s Love give us wisdom and fortitude to avoid that dystopia and may your prayers also be successful Penelope, despite what I have said above. Love Stephen

  • Malachi Malagowther

    3rd October 2021 at 5:37 pm Reply

    You seem to have taken on the part of the prayer that says, “May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people” and seem able to clearly recognise instances of where people are being unjustly treated and oppressed today. Your friend with family who have just escaped from Afghanistan must be very well aware of the injustice and oppression in that region. Those of us in the West all share some of the blame for climate change because of our past affluent lifestyle that has been so costly in terms of using fossil fuels and other resources since the later stages of the industrial revolution. However, there is also a hope that just as we were among the first to industrialise, we can also be among the first to lead a more sustainable lifestyle where we exercise proper stewardship of God’s earth. This is what we must strive for and there have been inspiring examples to follow.

  • Stephen Sheridan

    3rd October 2021 at 6:38 pm Reply

    Thank you Malachi and I feel I should apologise for my anger – it is in my Slavic blood! I shall pray that any anger I show is constructive. Bless you. Stephen

  • Stephen Hall

    7th October 2021 at 12:10 pm Reply

    Good for you Penny, for thinking so deeply about the breadth of the issues involved. I think you have most of the bases covered. If you could squeeze in an extra day, you could perhaps also spare a prayer for the plants, animals and natural life-giving systems that depend on a stable climate.

    I very much doubt the World’s politicians, even the most despotic, actively want to destroy the planet, and they will be aware the eyes of the World will be upon them. I therefore don’t agree with Greta Thunberg that the whole event will be a waste of time. Our leaders taking time to address this issue is a good thing, and I expect more good to come out of it than harm, even if it will not be enough.

    • Penelope Wallace

      7th October 2021 at 4:44 pm Reply

      Thank you, Stephen. I agree with you very much.

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