FaithInvest has officially launched one of the most ambitious faith-driven projects in history. Faith Plans for People and Planet is an unprecedented channeling of multi-faith energies to address the urgent global need for action on climate change.
The initiative comes in response to Pope Francis' 4th October declaration that more concrete action is needed from the world's faith communities in addressing the planet's challenges. Organised by FaithInvest and the WWF's Beliefs and Values Programme, Faith Plans is already the largest and most ambitious environmental initiative ever launched by the world's faiths – and is expected to grow much bigger in coming months.
The need for such action is clear. The world is facing unprecedented challenges. Climate change, biodiversity collapse and unsustainable development threaten our common home and demand an urgent, responsible and collective response.
Those committing themselves to developing Faith Plans manage billions of dollars in terms of buildings, land and financial assets. In announcing this new collaboration just weeks before COP26, faith groups are signalling their intent to put these substantial assets at the service of people and planet.
"Given the size of their assets and influence, faiths alone, through their actions, could make the crucial difference to the world's efforts to halt irreversible climate change and reverse environmental destruction," said FaithInvest CEO Martin Palmer.
The coalition includes faith-based networks such as the World Evangelical Alliance (more than 600 million members worldwide), Religions for Peace (the world's largest multi-religious organisation); and the Ethiopian Gospel Believers' Church Council (more than 30 million members). It includes groups reaching out to hundreds of millions of Buddhists and Daoists in China; secular groups working with faiths such as Interfaith Rainforest Initiative; and UN bodies such as UN Environment's Faith for Earth and the UNDP's Learning for Nature. The Faith Plans programme is also partnering with the Laudato Si' Movement of the Catholic Church which is urging its 1.3 billion members to take environmental action inspired by the Pope's groundbreaking 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si' (On Care for Our Common Home).
Full details of the individual Faith Plans will be announced at the time of the Stockholm+50 meeting in June 2022. They will then be implemented over the following seven to 10 years, depending on the faiths' individual timescales.