Today in the blog, we'll be sharing information on the Call to Action that has emerged from the COP28 Faith Pavilion. Portions of this post come from the from the recent International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development and UNEP Faith for Earth updates from Dubai on faith activity at COP28, as well as from the Call to Action document itself.
The “Faith for Climate: A Call to Action” of the COP28 Faith Pavilion is an expression of hope rooted in reality. We call attention to the extreme urgency of this moment. The climate science community has pointed out how quickly Earth’s systems have reached tipping points. Therefore, we add our energy, our prayers and our action to the voices of all the different sectors, to call together for ambitious advocacy, action and agreement on climate change at COP28 and beyond. We, the COP28 Faith Pavilion, invite individuals and organizations to sign onto this Call to Action!
This statement is calling on negotiators and policymakers to:
Prioritize a just transition to a green economy
Adopt the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
Prioritize the protection of species and ecosystems in climate negotiations
Provide new and sustained funding and new forms of access to the Green Climate Fund
Extend and diversify funding for a just and inclusive access to the Loss and Damage Fund
The Call to Action also highlights that the well-being of humans, animals, and nature ought to be the indicator of progress, rather than a sole focus on linear economic growth. It encourages a paradigm shift towards cyclic thinking, and an interdisciplinary, global, and inclusive approach which considers the wisdom of religious, spiritual, and Indigenous traditions to develop a binding Holistic Well-being Index (HWI).
Feedback on the Call to Action:
Dr. Iyad Abumoghli, Director of the Faith for Earth Coalition of UNEP, said: “As stewards of this Earth, this Call to Action invites all hearts and minds to unite in action. Let our convictions transcend boundaries, inspiring collective responsibility for climate protection. Together, we can chart a path of sustainable change guided by compassion and shared commitment.”
Khushwant Singh, Head of Secretariat, International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), said: “The Faith Pavilion, featuring over 300 speakers from all over the world, sparks transformative paradigm shifts, evokes actions, virtues and wisdom needed to safeguarding the well-being of all sentient beings, and protecting nature and the whole of Mother Earth. Values such as inclusivity, humbleness, honesty, far-sightedness, and altruism are crucial, particularly amongst decision makers.”
Bishop Marc Andrus, Episcopal Diocese of California, said: “The Loss and Damage Fund is welcome news, but we are no way near reaching the agreements needed to stay at a target of 1.5° C. Inclusive access to Loss and Damage, commitment to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and new forms of access for the Green Climate Fund are all crucial commitments that we want to see realised at COP28. The message from faith communities is clear: we will be holding negotiators to account and reminding them to act with their conscience to ensure the protection of planet, and all those that call it home.”
Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Founder of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, said: “Faith leaders are united with climate scientists and activists to say: now is not the time to deny the science. Now that the talks are in the negotiations phase, faith communities are actively pushing to ensure the needs of the poorest and the planet are placed at the heart of the agreements we desperately need.”
COP28 is being held at Expo City Dubai from 30 Nov. to 12 Dec. 2023. More than 70,000 participants – including heads of state, government officials, industry leaders and climate experts – will come to the UAE to help deliver a vital blueprint for action to safeguard the planet.
Facts on the scale and breadth of the faith movement active in communities globally
· Six billion people (84% of the world’s population) have a faith, religion or values system
· More than 1.5 million projects globally to address climate change are run by faith groups
· Faith groups own and are responsible for more than 8% of the Earth’s habitable land
· Faith groups own and are responsible for more than 5% of all commercial forests on the planet
· More than 4 in 10 health services (40%) in some countries are operated by faith groups
· Half of schools worldwide (50%) are owned or operated by faith groups - rising to 64% of schools in sub-Saharan Africa
· 10% of the world’s financial institutions are faith-related, making faith institutions the world’s third largest investor. Research shows that “faith-aligned” impact investment capital is valued at $5 trillion worldwide