COP26: Jesuit Mission pilgrimage highlights climate justice
By Lydia O’Kane
The term “carbon footprint” has been widely used to describe the amount of carbon-containing greenhouse gases released into the environment by an activity, process, individual, or group.
With the eyes of the world focused on the COP26 Climate Summit, which will get underway this weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, a group of pilgrims is preparing to use their own footprints to pray for climate crisis resolutions.
The 52-mile walk, entitled “Growing Our Future pilgrimage,” is being hosted by Jesuit Missions, the international development office for the Jesuits in Britain.
The twenty-eight pilgrims, including four Jesuits, will walk from Edinburgh to Glasgow from 3-6 November during the first week of the COP26. Their journey will culminate with the pilgrims joining the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice march through Glasgow city centre.
Those taking part in the pilgrimage come from all walks of life, including those working in the health, charity, and business sectors. However, they all have one thing in common: the desire to make this planet a better place for future generations.
Praying for success
Speaking ahead of the journey, Paul Chitnis, Director of Jesuit Missions, highlights that “a pilgrimage is an ancient and rather Catholic tradition in which pilgrims journey on foot to witness something remarkable. Often pilgrimages take place around areas of historical and religious significance," he said. “In journeying to COP26 our pilgrims recognise that the potential of this conference can be remarkable, too, but we also understand that our prayers will be needed for it to prove a success.”
For over 50 years, Jesuit Missions has been supporting and working with poor and marginalised people around the world. Its remit includes promoting social justice, building bridges between communities, and accompanying the marginalized.
Representatives of more than 200 countries will converge on Glasgow for the much anticipated COP26 Summit on Sunday, where they will discuss new targets for cutting or curbing the growth of emissions that contribute to climate change.