COP27: Faith-Based Engagement Now and For the Future

Anna Thurston

From 6 to 18 November 2022, government delegations from 198 countries convened for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. In advance of this global gathering, Yale Forum partners at Faith for Earth, an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), compiled a directory of all religiously-related side events held in relation to COP27. In addition to this curated list, UNEP Faith for Earth also also released a guide for faith actors–and other stakeholders interested in engaging with faith actors–for the Climate COP in Sharm el-Sheikh.

While COP27 facilitated the historic decision to establish a “loss and damage fund,” particularly for nations most impacted by climate-induced disasters, many steps remain in the pursuit of a just and flourishing ecological future. 

Less than a week after its conclusion, UNEP’s Faith for Earth Initiative hosted a virtual recap session to evaluate faith-based experiences, contributions, and perspectives at COP27. The meeting began with a review on what has and has not been achieved as outcomes of COP27; since the facts provided are not easily found elsewhere, UNEP Faith for Earth generously provided a copy of this presentation (hyperlinked above) and encourage distribution among the global religious community. 

In addition to recognizing met and unmet targets in terms of emissions and climate adaptation, participants in this virtual session brainstormed ideas to ensure a a more coordinated, robust, and effective faith engagement at future UN Climate Change Conferences. Among these ideas was the proposal for a designated “Faith Pavillion” at future COPs to encourage religious engagement and support interfaith climate endeavors in the international community

For more than 25 years, the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology has been pleased to sustain and encourage such efforts to increase religious environmental awareness, integrate ethical and moral commitments with climate action, and inspire spiritually-informed action for the earth community. To learn more about UNEP’s Faith for Earth Initiative and their partnership with the Yale Forum, read our October 2020 interview, “One Earth Many Religions One Goal: Interview with Iyad Abumoghli, UNEP Faith for Earth.”


COP 27 Faith Recap Meeting with Iyad Abumoghli