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'A sacred duty to cherish our human family and the fragile ecosystem that cradles us'

More than 200 faith leaders, scientists, young people, business leaders and politicians came together in Abu Dhabi this month to adopt a powerful Interfaith Statement for COP28 calling for urgent and transformative action by the world's governments.


The statement was the result of a Global Summit in Abu Dhabi co-hosted by UNEP Faith for Earth, the Muslim Council of Elders, COP 28 Presidency, and UAE's Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence.


It is intended to send a clear signal to world leaders ahead of the UN's COP28 climate negotiations which begin in Dubai on 30 November and run until 12 December.

Hands holding a globe representing the world

It comes as faith groups will have a bigger official presence at this COP than at any previous one. Pope Francis will attend COP28 – the first time a pontiff has done so since the UN meetings began in 1996 – and will open the Faith Pavilion, a space for faith groups to host and take part in talks, networking and advocacy. This is the first time faith groups have had a dedicated space at a COP.


The Faith Pavilion will hold 65 sessions with 300 speakers from every corner of the world; 120 faith-based organisations have signed up to take part. FaithInvest CEO Dr Lorna Gold will there, and will give the opening remarks at the Faith Pavilion on December 4 – the day when the COP focuses on finance along with gender, equality and accountability.


Interfaith Statement

'Our faith instills in us a sacred duty to cherish not only our human family but also the fragile ecosystem that cradles us' – Interfaith Statement, November 2023

The statement expresses faith leaders' shared concern 'for the escalating climate impacts that imperil our cherished planet, as well as our common commitment to jointly address this global crisis... Our faith instills in us a sacred duty to cherish not only our human family but also the fragile ecosystem that cradles us'.


Calls to action

The Interfaith Statement makes 13 calls to action including:

The first page of the Interfaith Statement, Nov 2023
  • Call for urgent responses by fast-tracking energy transitions, ensuring fairness and equity and what’s morally right.

  • Regard Mother Earth as a source of life that must be protected.

  • Ask governments to overcome the linear growth paradigm and move to a circular model that allows us to live a balanced and dignified life in harmony with nature.

  • Beseech financial institutions, IFIs, private sector, companies, and governments to adopt responsible investments and business practices aligned with climate, environmental and social standards.

Commitments to action

It also included 17 commitments to action by the signatories, who were representatives of faith, Indigenous, and wisdom traditions. They included:

  • Champion the development of a faith-based ecological narrative, continuous learning, and the integration of ecological teachings and values within educational, religious, and cultural institutions, nurturing a holistic understanding of our interconnectedness.

  • Actively participate in public discourse on environmental matters, guiding our congregations and institutions to foster resilient and just communities.

  • Lead the pursuit and reimagining of sustainable lower carbon lifestyles and social progress rooted in harmony with the Earth and respect for its resources.

  • Align financial investments with ethical standards, embracing responsible and inclusive financing that supports a thriving planet and its inhabitants.

Read the Interfaith Statement in full

Interfaith-statement-Pre-COP-28
.pdf
Download PDF • 729KB

The dedicated website for the Faith Pavilion at COP28 is: https://faithatcop28.com/ and you can find out what's happening here: https://faithatcop28.com/programming/





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