Your planet needs you!
We are really hoping for creative input from thinkers, poets, storytellers, dancers, prancers, puppeteers, imagineers, witches, wizards and Alan Moore (especially Alan Moore). We're connecting with creative groups along the route and we hope to run weekly events and happenings to highlight the need for climate justice ahead of the global conference on climate change in Glasgow in November.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) Faith Bridge is an interfaith alliance across a broad spectrum from established religions to those who are SBNR (spiritual but not religious), and the concept of a pilgrimage walking from the centre of UK government in Westminster to the gathering of nations in Glasgow is one that fits naturally within its declared intention of working together “united for our sacred Earth”. XR Faith Bridge has a COP26 working group and this is one of our initiatives.
The Camino to COP is inspired both by the faith tradition of pilgrimage and great justice marches of the past: the Jarrow March in the UK, the Salt March in India and the March on Washington in the US.
What is COP 26 and what does COP stand for?
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed in 1994.
The 2021 meeting in Glasgow will be the 26th meeting, which is where the 26 comes in.
Why is COP26 so important?
US climate envoy John Kerry describes the climate summit as "the last best chance" to avert the worst environmental consequences for the world. He is right.
Small island states such as the Maldives and Tuvalu will be submerged by rising seas if no action is taken on the climate, so they want to see evidence that big emitters are delivering on their commitment under the 2016 Paris agreement to “pursue efforts” to limit warming to 1.5C above the pre-industrial average.
We believe that the government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
What is a Camino?
Camino simply means ‘the way’. The Camino de Santiago is ‘The Way of St James’ and the most popular route is the Camino Frances (the French Way) which traditionally starts in St. Jean-Pied-De-Port in France, before crossing the Pyrenees, La Rioja wine region and northern Spain, before finishing in Santiago de Compostela, the burial place of St. James.
People walk the Camino for many reasons: for a sense of shared purpose, the centuries of history tramped into the soil, or simply the rhythm and joy of walking day after day. There are hundreds of different pilgrim routes across Europe and the UK.
So we are on the way to COP26. Come and join us.
We start on Sunday 5th September from Parliament Square, London.
We arrive on Thursday 29th October in Glasgow.
The walk will take place over an eight week period (56 days including a rest day each week) in relatively short stages (averaging around nine miles per walking day) to allow for as much participation and accessibility as possible and so that the focus is not simply on the physical act of walking, but also on interacting with the public where we can. Each stage is accessible by public transport so people can join for short relays.
The walk is for everyone in XR and beyond, not just the faith community – we have much to give, much to share, and much we can learn from each other. The hope is that local XR groups will take part and that local groups as well as faith groups will help us locate resources and host our walkers each evening by providing food, somewhere to sleep and other facilities. It is also hoped that local groups will identify opportunities for walkers to give talks within the communities through which they pass.
We wish to allow space for as many aligned people as possible and the stages of the walk offer the opportunity for faith and community groups and others outside XR to get involved. Other aligned groups, including faith NGOs will be invited to join us for all or part of the walk – everyone is welcome to join us for any part of it.