For the next two weeks, leaders from around the globe will convene in Glasglow, Scotland for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as COP26. Leaders will discuss ways to accelerate efforts to curb climate change.
This crisis is a complex one, according to Mercy International Association, with both social and environmental impacts. In anticipation of COP26, Mercy Global Action (MGA) has submitted a position paper to the UN that outlines their demand for an integrated approach to combating global warming while protecting those that are have been disproportionately impacted, such as marginalized racial, indigenous and ethnic groups.
Victoria Battell, Maria College Senior Vice President and Chief Mission, Strategic Planning, and Advancement Officer, served as one of the United States representatives on the international MGA Task Force on Climate and Water, and helped to create the position paper.
One of the advocacy recommendations is to ensure that young people, particularly girls and young women, are meaningfully included in the development, review, implementation and monitoring of all climate policies.
“Education of those who do not experience the direct effects of climate change and water is critical in tackling the disproportionate impact of these issues on the earth, women, and those in poverty,” said Battell. “Classrooms are a place where our privilege, individual blindness, and apathy can be challenged, awareness can be raised, and our resources can be mobilized to build a just and more equitable planet for all life.”
Mercy will be present in Glasgow with a delegation from Mercy International Association, Mercy Global Action, and the MGA Task Force on Climate and Water.
In August 2021, the MGA Task Force was created to reflect on the issues of climate and water and to develop strategies for global solutions. The task force provides direction and leadership to the Mercy World on justice issues related to the impact of climate change and water, and recommendations moving forward.