God in heaven, we pray for the successful implementation of the carbon reduction discussions at the COP27 Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
As the conference gained international attention from November 7-18, may we be mindful of the communities that continue to bear daily struggles as a result of environmental challenges forced by climate change:
- for our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh, where 20 million people, 13 percent of the population, along the coastlines suffer from increased salinity in their fresh water supply due to sea level rise…
- for our brother and sisters, in Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon, who have seen Lake Chad shrink by 95 percent in sixty years, eliminating a life giving source of water for farming, livestock grazing, and fishing, as a result of dramatic weather changes…
- for our brothers and sisters in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan, where up to 20 million people are fighting for their very survival. The threat of extreme hunger, loss of animals and crops both from drought and violence are forcing people to spend their life-savings or leave their homes after 4 years of unbearable drought influenced by climate change and political instability in East Africa…
- for our brothers and sisters in the Amazon River Basin, in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The continuing many and varied forms of destruction of human and environmental life, are causing diseases and pollution of rivers and lands. Together with the felling and burning of trees this leads to massive loss of biodiversity, and the disappearance of species (more than one million of the eight million animals and plants are at risk). Major factors are the often illegal large scale agriculture, mining and deforestation programs and the increasing effects of climate change (exacerbated by these activities), all of which are especially harmful to Amazonian communities…
God of blessings,
the universe sings of your glory.
Deepen our gratitude for all you have made
and awaken in us a renewed commitment
to care for the earth and each other.
Inspire world leaders after COP27,
with openness to listen to those most affected by climate change
and with courage to act urgently and wisely,
so that our common home may be healed and restored
and all people, and generations to come, may delight in it.
(Closing prayer adapted from Catholic Agency for Overseas Development [CAFOD], “Prayer for the COP27 climate summit”.)