Faiths are being formally recognised as essential contributors to the December 2023 United Nations COP28 climate conference in Dubai. The UN Environment Programme has encouraged partnerships with faith-based organisations to host the first faiths pavilion at a climate Conference of Parties (COP).
This space will highlight the role of religious perspectives and values in addressing the climate crisis.
Pope Francis met privately with the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders and the Special Representative of the United Arab Emirates Presidency in May to discuss the crucial contribution of faith communities. Faiths ran a pavilion at the December 2022 UN COP conference on Biodiversity.
Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Founder & Executive Director of The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development writes:
I am pleased to share with you that The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) is co-organizing the first-ever robust Faith Pavilion at a UN climate conference, for COP 28 in Dubai, in collaboration with the Muslim Council of Elders, UN Environment Program's Faith for Earth, and other partners. It will offer a range of programming each day of COP 28, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, 2023. We are planning to hold 60 sessions at the Faith Pavilion, and additional religion and ecology sessions will be held at other Pavilions and venues.
The Pavilion will promote the active involvement of religious leaders and communities around the world curbing climate change. Faith leaders have a key role to play in addressing climate change and climate justice, which requires deep transformation within society. Given the influence of religious leaders on religious people around the world, the advocacy and action of religious leaders can increase awareness of the urgency of climate action and inspire behavioral changes based on moral and spiritual responsibility to curb climate change.
At COP 28 in Dubai, we are working to significantly increase the presence of high-level religious leaders, and at other COPs thereafter. We have also hired a UK-based PR firm to further the communications reach of interfaith engagement at COP 28.
I would also like to share with you this blog post, published today and written by ICSD's longtime board chair, David Miron Wapner. As he wrote, "I strive to do my utmost to meet our common challenge. None of us can do it alone, but each positive act we each perform leads to our collective success."
Following the record flooding in Libya, Greece, and Turkey, we seek your support in elevating the voices of rabbis, priests, ministers, imams, swamis, and monks from around the world who are calling for transformation in human behaviour in order to preserve life on this planet, God's creation. You can help this effort by clicking here to donate.
We will only secure the future of our planet for the next generation when all of us collectively begin to think differently about what we eat, what we buy, and how we live. That shift in mindset is a spiritual challenge to live in God's image, so we are uniquely positioned to shape this public dialogue. With your help, we can make this a reality.
The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development: https://interfaithsustain.com/