African Church Leaders Advocates for Climate Justice during COP27 Conference

The Pastors and church leaders of Africa let their voices be heard for the COP-27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Vatican News reported that at the core of their message, the leaders asked for developing countries to create and establish a ‘compensation mechanism’ for the loss and damages brought upon by climate change worsened by industrial activities.

The article said that Cardinal Ambongo of Kinshasa, the Vice-President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and President of its Justice, Peace and Development Commission spoke at the Parish of Our Lady of Peace in Sharm El Sheikh. The cardinal spoke about the effects of climate change and how it is a ‘lived reality’ when it comes to Africans.

Climate Change and Africa

In his message, he also said that there should be compensation for those countries that are suffering from climate change while not being responsible for it. The participants echoed the sentiment, pushing for ‘compensation mechanisms.’ They added that justice and peace will remain an issue that could not be achieved while polluters continue to profit.

There’s also the concern about the young people in Africa who are hit hardest by climate change. This is the sentiment of David Munene of Catholic Youth Network on Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA.) he added that they should also be included in the decision-making process to solve the issue.

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Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference

Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference or the COP27 is a conference of the United Nations dedicated to climate change. This year, it took place from Sunday to Friday, November 6 to 18 and included heads of state and governments coming together for the summit.

On the conference page, it says that it covers the topics agreed upon under the Paris Agreement and the Convention.

The event featured multiple world leaders speaking for their countries or on behalf of a cause. It had Prime Minister Gaston Browne, President Surangel Samuel Whipps, President Jose Maria Neves, and President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, to name a few. During the speeches, the UN also provided interpretation in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar

According to the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar, it is the Association of African Bishops that promotes the Church’s role as a Family of God in Africa. For this purpose, it fosters communion, collaboration, and joint action among the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and the Islands.

The organization came to be from the wish of the African Bishops during the time of the Second Vatican Council. On the organization’s page, it says that it was established to create a continental structure for Africa.

Today, the headquarters of the SECAM is in Accra, Ghana, and has three official languages, namely, English, French, and Portuguese. As for its organization, it has an organ of liaison and collaboration for the region. It also has the Plenary Assembly of delegated representatives that meets every three years for the affairs of the organization.

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