Archbishop of Canterbury says people shouldn’t ‘despair’ over climate change in 2022

The Archbishop of Canterbury has used his new year message to urge the public not to “despair” over climate change in 2022.

Following a year in which the UK hosted the UN’s climate summit in Glasgow, the Most Reverend Justin Welby used his message broadcast on BBC Radio 5 to tell listeners: “When it comes to climate change, it is tempting to despair.

“But there are real reasons to hope.”

He added: “People of every background are campaigning and working for justice. Important steps were taken at the Cop26 summit. World leaders recognise the problem.”

Mr Welby, alongside other religious leaders including Pope Francis, signed a joint appeal to world governments to commit to ambitious targets at the climate summit, which ran from 31 October to 12 November.

While China and the US – the world’s biggest emitters of CO2 – surprised the world by announcing to act against global warming in a joint declaration, the overall commitments made at COP26 have been seen by many as “overspun and underwhelming”.

More on COP26

In a speech given in Rome before the summit, Mr Welby said over the past 100 years humanity had “declared war” on creation and must repent by not only building a green economy but by bringing justice to the global south.

“I have run out of time,” he said at the end of his speech. “The world has just enough time to get this right.”

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