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Presiding Bishop’s delegation travels to United Nations Climate Change Conference

Presiding Bishop offers video Follow actions in the news, on social media
November 3, 2017

An 11- member delegation representing Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will attend the 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, November 6-17.

Known as COP23, the United Nations Climate Change Conference is an annual intergovernmental meeting to focus on global dialogue and action around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. More information on COP23 can be found here.  Previous meetings have produced the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement, which serves as the basis for standards on climate action and lowering carbon emissions.

Named by Presiding Bishop Curry, the COP23 delegation will share Episcopal Church resolutions on climate change and information about the Church and its ministries and activities to address ecojustice in both United Nations and public events.  Led by Bishop Marc Andrus, the delegation will offer a spiritual presence through daily interfaith prayer and worship and by encouraging active churchwide participation by Episcopalians through virtual participation and social media.

The Rev. Canon Charles Robertson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond the Episcopal Church, explained, “Our goals are to build on the work done at previous conferences by urging member states to implement the Paris Agreement and pay particular attention to developing nations and the poor, to raise awareness across the Episcopal Church of the importance of engaging on climate change as Christians, to digitally engage Episcopalians in that work before and during the conference, and to network within the accredited and public zones of the conference to spread the word about what the Episcopal Church is doing on climate issues.”

A video from the Presiding Bishop is here

This event marks the third Episcopal delegation to attend a COP meeting. A delegation led by Bishop Andrus attended COP21 in Paris in 2015, advocating for an agreement aligning with General Convention resolutions related to climate change. In 2016, the delegation led by Bishop Andrus traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco for COP22, which focused on implementing the Paris Agreement and birthed the “We’re Still In [the Paris Agreement]” movement.

How to participate

There are a series of actions for participation before and during COP23

  • Follow the delegation via web, Twitter or Facebook:

-Episcopal Church web site here

-Twitter here

-Facebook here

  • Pray for climate action
  • Share parish or faith community activities on climate action here
  • Send prayer requests, personal poems, or prayers for consideration at the interfaith service in Bonn here
  • Please share these requests and links in parish announcements and on social media
  • #EpiscopalClimate
  • @EpiscoClimate


The delegation brings together a range of environmental, liturgical and churchwide experience in their representation of the Presiding Bishop. 

The members of the Episcopal Church delegation with accredited observer status are:

  • The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California
  • Jack Cobb, Domestic and Environmental Policy Advisor, Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations
  • Lynnaia Main, Episcopal Church representative to the United Nations

Observer status allows each of these team members the ability to brief UN representatives on General Convention climate resolutions and to attend a variety of meetings in the official zone. Additionally, Bishop Andrus has been invited to address the inaugural UN meeting of the "We're Still In [the Paris Agreement]” movement. 

Other team members tasked with monitoring U.N. negotiations and networking are

  • Dr. Sheila Andrus, ecological entomologist and science manager based in the Episcopal Diocese of California
  • The Rev. Andrew Barnett, Associate for Music and Worship at the Washington National Cathedral and environmental scholar
  • Dr. Michael Coffey, an atmospheric scientist and professor at the University of the South, Sewanee
  • Nathan Empsall, Episcopal Church Global Partnerships/UN intern and communications specialist, and Yale Divinity School seminarian/Masters in Environmental Management student at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
  • Perry Hodgkins Jones, writer and member of the Episcopal Church Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation
  • The Rev. Melanie Mullen, Episcopal Church Director for Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care
  • Tom Poynor, Episcopal Chaplain, UC Berkeley and scholar in theology and the arts, Episcopal Diocese of California
  • Bill Slocumb, Director of Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers and member of the Episcopal Communicators

For more information contact Main.



Presiding Bishop Michael Curry: UN Climate Change Conference



Tagged in: EpiscoClimate COP23

Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer