Receive first-hand, immersive training as a
at the next UN climate summit
COP 25 in Chile.
You will share in the credentials of our Christian NGO observer organizations, officially recognized by the UNFCCC. This means that you will be granted access to the COP 25 conference grounds, able to attend those meetings, briefings, workshops, or exhibits open to all observers. You will shadow seasoned professionals, experiencing firsthand the work of a climate summit, acquiring the skills of this important role in the Paris Process and building your own individualized plan for future climate action. Classes before, during, and after the COP will train you in a Christian perspective as CCOP seeks to train the next generation of climate observers.
“As surely as a molecule of CO2 stays in the atmosphere for 100 years, there will be a COP 26, 27, 28, etc., and the role of NGO observers will only grow in importance. How effective you will be at influencing decision-makers, or how faithfully you will bring the resources of Christ Jesus to bear, depends on the vision and training you cultivate now.”
--Lowell Bliss, CCOP Co-director
Dates: Choose one; same program:
Room & Board: provided at “LWCCN Base Camp,” site to be announced.
Cost: US$540; participants are responsible for own roundtrip travel
Sponsor: various American and Canadian members of the Lausanne WEA Creation Care Network (LWCCN.) Administrative support provided by Eden Vigil at the Ralph Winter Launch Lab, Frontier Ventures.
For Inquiries and Application: firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadline: Sept 1, 2019
The Lausanne WEA Creation Care Network ran its first “Base Camp” at COP 21 in Paris, the UN climate summit which produced the Paris Agreement. Co-director Brian Webb, Sustainability Coordinator at Houghton College, will be one of our facilitators at CCOP.
What does “COP” stand for anyway?
Part of your training will be in deciphering the many acronyms that have sprung up around climate action. The United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Action (UNFCCC) sponsors an annual Convention of the Parties (COP). The “Parties” are the national governments who participate in the Paris Agreement and who thus send negotiators to the COPs. “The Paris Process” is a term which refers to all the work that the nations do, during or outside the COPs, to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.
What is a “Climate Observer”?
Only governments are parties to the Paris Agreement, but the UNFCCC recognizes that many others have a lot at stake as well. They call us “Non-Party Stakeholders.” “Observer” is an official term with a long history at the United Nations. Non-profit organizations, like our Christian ones, are given “Observer Status,” and are thus allowed to participate on a limited basis in the work of the UNFCCC. At a COP, the UNFCCC has invited us to “engage in:
A Climate Observer who is a follower of Jesus, or who is observing on behalf of a Christian denomination or NGO has additional responsibilities we believe, namely to “interpret” what they observe through a biblical framework and to act prophetically and priestly. Christian Climate Observers learn through practice how to pray for the Paris Process. Special training will be given in inter-faith and ecumenical cooperation.
What is CCOP’s course of study?
CCOP’s purpose is “to train, including with a Christian perspective, a new generation of Observers for the Paris Process so that the Church may make the most effective contribution possible to all subsequent COPs.” Components of the training include:
What are the desired outcomes of CCOP?
Who should apply to CCOP?
Can you imagine continuing on in Christian climate work, where this training or the “credential” of having attended a COP could benefit your future work, whether you ever end up as an official Observer again? If so, please consider applying. Students--university for sure, but also high school students--are encouraged to apply, but so are older NGO workers, ministers, professionals, teachers, clergy, creation care practitioners, etc. The size of CCOP will be limited to the number of observer badges that the UNFCCC grants us, so admission will be competitive.
If you have any questions about whether CCOP may be right for you, please write to the director at email@example.com.
At no other event in the world, save the Olympics we suppose, can you rub shoulders with every nationality, surrounding yourself with others who have their own unique perspective but who share your one same passion. Inspiration is in ready supply, and the chance encounters are thrilling. CCOP co-director Lowell Bliss takes a selfie with climate hero, Greta Thunberg of Sweden at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland.
What are the differences in the dates?
A COP runs for two weeks. A “badge” (or permission for you to enter the COP) is only available for one week but not both. On the application, you’ll be asked to state your preference and availability for either week. Even among our instructors, some of us prefer the first week of a COP because hopefulness and energy level is high and access to people is greater. Others prefer the sense of urgency and crowds of a second week, which is also when most Heads of States are likely to show up. First week participants are asked to arrive the Sunday before for registration purposes. All participants are asked to stay for COP’s middle weekend when many unique events, including a climate march, take place in the city, and when opportunities to interact with other CCOP participants is greatest.
Can’t I just show up in Santiago and have my own “climate change experience” at COP 25?
Many people do come to a COP city (like Katowice in 2018 or Bonn in 2017) without having the UNFCCC observer credentials. There are some events in the city that are open to the public, and you can hang out with such groups as Greenpeace, but access is denied to the COP conference grounds. We are afraid you will find your COP experience disappointing. COPs also tend to be big and overwhelming so that all participants, even those with observer status, benefit from a program or organization that is aware of the many offerings and who can “curate” a schedule.
Do I need a visa to visit Chile?
You will need a current passport. American and Canadian passport holders do not need a visa, and can arrive at the airport in Chile and receive a 90 day visitors permit. All other nationalities, please be sure to check your country’s requirements.
What if I only speak English?
The business of the COP and the vast majority of the side events are conducted in English, with translation often available through headsets. Of course, knowledge of Spanish will only enhance your overall experience.
Will there by coursework or homework?
Three scheduled webinars, beginning in October, will familiarize you with the history, current status, and future issues of the Paris Process. During the COP, you will meet with other participants for daily presentations. Coaching at the end will help you devise your individualized plan for future climate action. The main work of CCOP will be in the experience accompanied by debriefing with our veteran observers.
Can I get college credit for CCOP?
CCOP is considered “professional training,” and you will be issued a certificate of completion. We are happy to work with your university or college if a semester-long internship or individual study is available to you. Lausanne Base Camp did host an intern at COP 21 who did receive college credit from a major US university, so there is precedent.
Are there any religious requirements?
We ask for your affirmation of the “Lausanne Covenant” available here:
We also ask for your affirmation of the LWCCN’s “Jamaica Creation Care Call to Action” available here: https://www.lausanne.org/content/statement/creation-care-call-to-action
Will there be time for sightseeing?
You bet, especially during the weekend but also at times during the week. The host nation’s and the host city’s tourism bureaus are active in the exhibit hall. Santiago has many beautiful buildings and monuments and the nearby mountain range is considered the foothills of the Andes.
Who are the sponsors and who are the facilitators?
The Lausanne WEA Creation Care Network (www.lwccn.org) are various organizations which internationally have gathered together around the Jamaica Creation Care Call to Action. CCOP, at least in this first year, is a collaboration of the US and Canadian LWCCNs. Eden Vigil at the Ralph Winter Launch Lab, Frontier Ventures will be our administrative sponsor. Some organizations like Climate Caretakers, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, and CRCNA will be acting as facilitators and sending their own constituents.