Episcopal delegation resumes in-person engagement at U.N. climate conference

The U.N. climate conference, COP27, is meeting Nov. 6-18 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo/Lynnaia Main

By David Paulsen

For a second year, the United Nations’ annual climate conference has an option for online attendance, which has allowed Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to appoint a larger delegation to represent him at the global summit, and this month, for the first time in three years, some Episcopalians have resumed attending in person, Episcopal News Service reports.

The 18-member delegation of Episcopalians is now engaged in a mix of online meetings and face-to-face conversations on the sidelines of the COP27 summit underway Nov. 6-18 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

California Bishop Marc Andrus leads the Episcopal delegation alongside Lynnaia Main, the Episcopal Church’s representative to the United Nations, with additional support from the church’s Offices of Creation Care and Government Relations. Andrus and Main are among six Episcopalians at COP27 in Egypt this week, and they gather online with the entire delegation at the end of each day for a group update.

“I’m just so impressed every day by what they’re learning and how they’re absorbing that and how they’re analyzing it,” Andrus told Episcopal News Service by phone Nov. 10 from Egypt. Andrus, who is retiring as diocesan bishop in 2024, added that the delegates, from dioceses across the church, already are demonstrating a real “sophistication and dedication” in their promotion of policies backed by  General Convention resolutions.

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Members of the Episcopal delegation will report back to the church about their experiences at COP27 in an online session at noon Eastern Nov. 30. Anyone interested in attending is invited to register in advance.