COP 26: “Now is the time to act!” – call from Town Council & Churches Together

In a Joint Statement issued to mark the opening of the COP26 Climate Conference, Saxmundham Town Council and the Churches Together in Saxmundham have come together to call on governments to “have the courage to seize the time” to reach the necessary decisions.

The Statement underlines that it is the poorest, here in Britain and in the world, who are at greatest risk from severe climate change, and that all ‘levels’ – global, national, and local communities – need to work together to deliver the necessary changes.  The full statement is here, (with pdf version attached):

COP26 climate change conference

From local to global, from global to local – now is the time to act!

Joint Statement from Saxmundham Town Council and Churches Together in Saxmundham

October 2021

“Climate change is the greatest risk facing us all”

We have come together, Town Council and the churches of Saxmundham and Kelsale, to voice – on behalf of our community – our hopes and expectations for the 2021 United Nations climate change conference (COP26), held in November under the presidency of the UK.

It provides the occasion – maybe a final chance – for the world’s leaders to take and commit to actions that can still make a difference, and protect our planet (which we hold in trust for future generations) from the terrible social and environmental consequences of runaway climate change.  We call on governments to have the courage to seize the time, and reach decisions that enable us

  • to secure global net zero by mid-century, and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
  • to protect communities and natural habitats
  • to mobilise the necessary resources, and
  • to work together – governments, local communities and businesses – to deliver the changes

Some steps can only or best be taken at global level, some at national level, but many need to be taken and supported at local level.  Saxmundham Town Council has declared a “climate emergency”, and is committed to build a cleaner, greener future for our town and parish.  The Churches have likewise committed to reduce their modest carbon footprint as well as protecting biodiversity in our churchyards. The Churches will work together with other community leaders to pursue and publicise local initiatives that support climate justice and environmental protection.

We underline that, while severe climate change will badly affect all of us, it is the poorest who are experiencing, and will experience, the worst effects, across the world but also in our own country and community.

Together, we call on the world’s leaders to set aside divisive issues of nationality and politics, to come together to make radical change to our global system to reduce greenhouse emissions and tackle environmental degradation

Together, we undertake to show by example our commitment, here in Saxmundham, to community leadership and action in relation to addressing climate change and achieving the necessary transition

And together, we encourage all members of our great Saxmundham community to play their part in (for example) reducing emissions, tackling waste, protecting biodiversity, and (where possible) moving to adopt new technologies that help achieve these goals.

Leaving the challenge to world, national and local leaders will not realise the changes required.  It is our common task and responsibility to leave to our children and grandchildren – and all future generations – a truly “liveable” planet.


For Saxmundham Town Council                                  For Churches Together in Saxmundham

Cllr Jeremy Smith (Chair)                                                              Rev. David Preece

Cllr Diana Eastman (Vice-Chair)                                                   Rev. Nic Stuchfield

Cllr Nigel Hiley (Chair, Environment Working Group)           Rev. David Rees


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