top of page

Webinar Tues 28: Faith, science & philanthropy unite for COP28

FaithInvest and the Laudato Si' Movement are holding a unique, high-level event bringing together leaders in the areas of science, faith and philanthropy on Tuesday November 28 to discuss how to scale up urgent action on the climate crisis ahead of the UN climate conference, COP28.

Graphic illustrating the webinar attendees

Timed just days before the start of COP28, which His Holiness Pope Francis will attend, speakers include:

  • Prof Johan Rockström, Director of the renowed Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, one of the world's leading research institutions looking at global environmental change

  • Sr Alessandra Smerilli, Secretary of the Vatican's Dicastery for Integral Human Development

  • Dr Andrew Steer, President of the Bezos Earth Fund, established with $10bn – the largest philanthropic commitment ever to fight climate change and protect nature

  • Huda Jaffer, Director of SELCO Foundation, which implements sustainable energy projects among Muslim, Hindu and Christian communities throughout India and Africa

  • Dr Lorna Gold, CEO of FaithInvest, the leading multifaith global organisation supporting faiths to invest in line with their values, and Chair of the Laudato Si’ Movement, the largest Catholic environmental movement in the world

  • The webinar will be chaired by Johannes van de Ven, Executive Director, Good Energies Foundation.  

The urgency of the climate crisis

The webinar, which will be livestreamed to YouTube, comes at a pivotal moment in the climate crisis. Only yesterday UN Environment released released a very sobering Emissions Gap report which found we are ‘breaking all the wrong records’ in our fast-warming world, and that we are still far off track to limit warming to well-below 2C. We must now cut 2030 emissions by 28% to achieve the 2C goal of the Paris agreement – a very tough ask indeed.

That's why, in an unprecedented move signifying the magnitude and urgency of the climate crisis, Pope Francis is attending the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, which begins next week – the first time a pontiff has attended the annual conferences since they began in 1995. 

'The world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point' – Pope Francis, Laudate Deum

The Pope's attendance follows the publication in October of his latest appeal for action, Laudate Deum, in which he emphasises how "... the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point..." and "what is being asked of us is nothing other than a certain responsibility for the legacy we will leave behind, once we pass from this world”.

Pope Francis is not the only faith leader to call for urgent action. Last week faith leaders signed an Interfaith Statement calling for transformative action to protect the living planet and serve affected and vulnerable communities.

Why this webinar now?

The coming together of faith, science and philanthropy is a pivotal catalyst for global responsibility towards climate action. Religious groups reach out to 84% of the world's population and are also themselves major stakeholders, owning 7-8% of the habitable landmass of the planet.

For decades faith communities have been taking action on the climate and biodiversity crises, often working at a grassroots level to bring about attitude and behaviour change among their followers as well as shifting their own assets, whether that is divesting from fossil fuel investments or greening their buildings.

But this work often goes unseen and as a result, under-funded. The latent potential to tap into the deep motivation and institutional reach of faiths remains untapped. This unique event will start to address this by fostering understanding and dialogue between key sectors driving climate action.

As Pope Francis says in his latest publication, Laudate Deum, published last month, ‘we are helping to bring about large processes of transformation rising from deep within society’.


The webinar will be livestreamed on YouTube on Tuesday November 28, and begins at 9am EST / 2pm GMT / 3pm CET. To watch, click the link below.


bottom of page