COP26 and climate change – 1 November 2021

This graphic picture depicts various aspects of climate change. The different areas of the image are divided by the use of data lines from the graphs that appear in scientific articles. At the bottom of the picture the sea level is rising. To the left, glacier volume is declining. The global temperature increases, as does the rapid rise in the use of fossil fuels.

The artist here is Jill Peltro, also a scientist, who uses both data and art to depict climate change and its effects. This is one of a set of ten pictures produced for the Smithsonian in 2016. Each picture considers an aspect of the impact of climate change on the natural world. We know that the data has not improved in the last five years.

Jill Pelto’s full set of pictures, together with her comments, can be seen on the Smithsonian website here:




‘We can confront these crises by retreating into isolationism, protectionism and exploitation, or we can see in them a real chance for change.

Each of us – whoever and wherever we may be – can play our own part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and the degradation of our common home.’

Pope Francis, on COP26


For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

Romans 8:19-22


Loving God,
We praise your name with all you have created.

You are present in the whole universe,
and in the smallest of creatures.

We acknowledge the responsibilities you have placed upon us
as stewards of your creation.

May the Holy Spirit inspire all political leaders at COP26 as they
seek to embrace the changes needed to foster a more sustainable society.

Instil in them the courage and gentleness to implement fairer solutions
for the poorest and most vulnerable,
and commit their nations to the care of Our Common Home.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son.


CAFOD, Prayer for COP26