By the Social Justice and Ecology Secretariat (SJES) of the Society of Jesus
The biggest UN Conference on Climate Change, COP26 is being held in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November. More than 30,000 official delegates from 190 countries are joining this important conference, besides millions following the events online. This is of particular interest to the Society of Jesus because of our own commitment to “Care for our Common Home”. Through Ecojesuit Network, the Society of Jesus and the Ignatian family are actively present in Glasgow, raising the voices of the poor and the marginalized before the decision-makers. About 15 delegates representing Ecojesuit and the Society of Jesus are in Glasgow participating in various events and programs. Many more are following the events online from all over the world.
Working very closely with the poor and the marginalized, we have witnessed the devastating consequences of climate change over the years. The rise in temperature is not just an idea but it manifests concretely in the day-to-day life of people around the world, be it socio-economic, political, religious or cultural. Jesuit social centers spread all over the world, working in remotest and often forgotten places feel and understand the unprecedented sufferings and hardship experienced by those at the margins, especially the farmers, the indigenous and the vulnerable communities that depend on nature.
Ever since 2008, when Ecojesuit was established as a network under the SJES, it has relentlessly promoted local-global dialogue to discern ways of achieving effective change; accompanied regional actions by bringing together other ecological organizations at regional level; and supported local initiatives toward ecological conversion. The outcome of these efforts can be felt at the local levels. Though little compared to the gravity of the ecological crisis, these efforts are indispensable and need the corroboration of the entire world. Ecojesuit network sees COP26 as an opportunity to save our planet earth.