The Irish Times has published an opinion piece by FaithInvest CEO Lorna Gold entitled Pope Francis not showing up at Cop28 is bad news for those seeking to ‘faithwash’ the event.
In the piece, Dr Gold pushes back on complaints by some about the Pope having to cancel his trip to COP28 due to poor health, writing: 'Pope Francis does not need to travel to Dubai for his views to be heard. The official Catholic position will be well represented by the Vatican, which is now a formal party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
'Moreover, his views on the climate crisis are no secret. He wrote his groundbreaking letter on the environment, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be), just before the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015, which he addressed to "all people on the planet" and called on everyone to embrace the need for change'.
Further, Dr Gold says: 'By simply being there in such a high-profile role, moreover, he risked providing moral cover – 'faithwashing', as some have called it – for a round of talks which is looking increasingly discredited'.
Other faith groups have voiced similar concerns that there are corporate interests that would like to portray the first-time presence of a Faith Pavilion at the conference as evidence of accomplishments that in fact have have yet to be implemented.
By simply being there in such a high profile role...he risked providing moral cover – "faithwashing"
That said, the Faith Pavilion is proving to be a highly dynamic, engaged and active area within COP28 and FaithInvest will be sharing more about this convening as COP28 advances.
Facilitated by the Muslim Council of Elders, 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. The dedicated website is: https://faithatcop28.com/