An eight-member delegation representing Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will attend the 24th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 2-14.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, known this year as COP24, is an annual meeting focused on global dialogue and action on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This conference produced the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement, which serves as the current basis for global standards on climate action and lowering carbon emissions.
Called by Presiding Bishop Curry and led by Bishop Marc Andrus of the Diocese of California, the COP24 delegation will advocate for the environmental priorities designated by the 79th General Convention.
“What I have found in participating in the United Nations climate summits from Paris onwards is that the thousands of national representatives from virtually every country on Earth are also local climate activists,” Andrus said. “Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams once said, ‘It takes a global body to confront global problems.’ The Episcopal Church is a global body doing climate and environmental work at the world and the local levels.”
Bishop Curry has named a bishop representative, a clergy representative, and a lay representative to represent him at COP24. They will be accompanied by other Episcopalians and members of Bishop Curry’s staff:
- The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop of California;
- Sheila Andrus, ecological entomologist and science manager, Diocese of California;
- Jack Cobb, domestic and environmental policy adviser, Office of Government Relations;
- The Rev. Lester Mackenzie, rector of St. Mary’s Church, Laguna Beach, Calif.;
- Lynnaia Main, the church’s representative to the United Nations;
- Andrew R.H. Thompson, visiting assistant professor of theological ethics, University of the South School of Theology;
- The Rev. Melanie Mullen, the church’s director for reconciliation, justice and creation care;
- Alan Yarborough, communications coordinator and office manager, Office of Government Relations.
Observer status allows each of these team members the ability to brief U.N. representatives on General Convention’s climate resolutions and to attend a variety of meetings in the official zone.