Rising to the Climate Emergency - Brahma Kumaris at COP27
Egypt will host the 27th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh on 6–18 November 2022. The COP27 summit will bring parties together with a view to accelerating implementation of action and financing to limit global heating and support adaptation, as envisaged by the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Egypt is working with all countries and joining forces with companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP27. There is a focus on implementing commitments made at previous climate meetings (e.g. COP26 in 2021), and on advancing a just transition to more sustainable economic models. Read more: https://cop27.eg/
Ramping up Green Ambition for Brahma Kumaris
As part of the BK Environment Initiative, an international BK team is actively preparing for COP27, and there will be a strong presence on the ground in Sharm El-Sheikh The team has been meeting regularly since the last COP, held in Glasgow in November 2021. The BK delegation consists of:
- Maureen Goodman, UK – Head of Delegation
- Golo Pilz, Germany/India – Energy Adviser
- Valeriane Bernard, Switzerland/France – UN Representative Geneva
- Sonja Ohlsson, Denmark – Focal point for UN Climate Change Conference
- Carolin Fraude, Germany – BK Environment Initiative Berlin/Potsdam
- Shantanu Mandala, India – Youth Representative
- Birajit Baskaran, UK – Youth Representative
- Piyush Ahuja, UAE – Youth Representative
- Aneta Loj, Poland - Focal point for UNEP and UN Combating Desertification
- Dr Awatif Sharaf, Board President Bahrain Meditation Center
- Shaikha Al Arfaj, Kuwait, CEO, Al Arfaj Group Holding Company
- Muna Alarfaj, Kuwait, CEO, Beatuna Recycling Company
The Path to COP27: International BK Climate Support
The BK Green Champions from the UK organize a Green Wave Meditation for the Planet every third Saturday of the month. For three months prior to COP27, they have been sending out supportive energy to the upcoming conference in Egypt.
In Australia, BKs are taking part in a programme of Prayers and Meditation for the Planet & COP27. This is part of a global campaign of prayers and meditation for the planet arranged each year by faith organisations ahead of the UN COP meeting.
The COP preparation group actively collaborates with the following organisations for side events and exhibitions:
- ACT Alliance - Action by Churches Together
- All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC)
- Bread for the World (BfdW)
- The Lutheran World Federation (LWF)
- World Council of Churches (WCC)
- Abibimman Foundation (AF)
- Faith Association of the Rehabilitation of Street Children and Orphans (FARSO)
- International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN)
Peace Drops for the Great Green Wall: A Meditation Initiative, is a project of the Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative inspired by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). We aim to contribute a values based and spiritual perspective to support the Great Green Wall (GGW), a project to grow an 8,000 kilometre long green belt across the breadth of the Sahel region of Africa, from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east. The aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land, support communities badly affected by climate change, and provide new economic opportunities for local people: https://www.unccd.int/our-work/ggwi
The BK Peace Drops is an open invitation to people of all nationalities and faiths to join together to help grow a new Wonder of the World. As a spiritual organisation our main aim is to help people to experience greater well-being and empowerment through inner peace, universal values and personal/collective resilience. The Peace Drops initiative will at first focus on three core values: Cooperation, Peace and Hope.
BK Activities at COP27
The delegation will lead or take part in a numer of activities, including panel discussions, press conferences, an exhibition and a cultural evening. A brief summary is below:
- Nov. 6: Interfaith Gathering in the Spirit of a Talanoa Dialogue in a Copyic Church. We open our participation at COP27 by joining in an event that offers an opportunity for faith-oriented and all interested people to gather and share their respective initiatives, concerns and hopes in the format of a Talanoa Dialogue. Intended as ‘a nourishing and hopeful event for climate justice advocates”, with panel and small group discussions, it will be followed by an interfaith service.
- Blue Zone, different venues and pavillions:
Nov. 8: We focus on inter-generational collaboration, climate justice and the rights of all life on Earth. The panel is drawn from both youth and the older generation, and the format features sessions where each group puts across their point of view, followed by a general discussion with Q and As from the audience.
- Nov. 11: In collaboration with faith groups from across the world, we discuss ways to deliver – and extend – the promises made to close the existing adaptation finance gap and reach communities most in need.
- Nov. 15: Young people from a wide range of faith backgrounds join together to present Global Interfaith Youth Action on Climate Change. The gathering will encourage the exchange of ideas and ways to build capacity to act for the climate as a common good for all.
- Exhibiition (Blue Zone)
- From Nov. 7: The BKs will be part of a collaborative exhibition on projects that support the UNFCCC’s objectives, with the theme of “How shifts in consciousness and systemic thinking open doors to technologies and sustainable lifestyles grounded in integrity and care”. Until Nov. 12.
- Press Conferences (Taba Area, Luxor Room)
- Nov. 11: Core values and ethical principles for climate action - with Maureen Goodman and Thomas Hirsch, Founding Director of Climate and Development Advice, Germany.
- Nov. 14: Changing mindsets and shaping the future after COP27 - with Maureen Goodman and Golo Pilz.
- Cultural Event (Blue Zone, Cryosphere Pavilion)
- Nov. 16: We bring our special touch to a meditation for adaptation and resilience, providing an oasis of calm for everyone caught up in the busy activity of the UN Climate Conference. With images, music, and guided meditations by Maureen Goodman and Golo Pilz.