The Interfaith Liaison Committee welcomes friends from around the world to learn, discuss and explore climate action in the run up to what should have been COP26. We welcome members from different religious communities, alongside scientists and policymakers, to meet and share their visions for faith-based climate action in 2020.

A 3-part interactive online series organised by the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UNFCCC Every Tuesday, October 27th - November 10th.

Online Event #1: The World We Want 

Tuesday 27 October

9:00-10:30 am GMT

10:00-11:30 am CET

7:00-8:30 pm AET

Kindly Register here

Format: Interactive event is in English. 

Faith traditions form the basis for what much of the world’s people consider important or unimportant, desirable or undesirable, tolerable or intolerable. They can also give us the moral courage to put aside our personal interests in favour of the common good, especially during crisis situations such as the current Covid-19 pandemic and the unfolding climate emergency. While each faith tradition will offer its own perspective, there are many commonalities on which we can build through interfaith dialogue and that we can use to strengthen the common good.  This webinar will explore the narratives that faith traditions from all over the world can bring to helping us navigate through this precarious time.

Covid-19 has touched everybody’s lives, bringing lockdowns, travel restrictions and closed borders to people around the world. Many have lost relatives and friends. Many others have lost their livelihoods, with no prospect of the protection offered by social insurance. As economies crash, rich countries have sought to support the structures of society and people’s lives with public finance.  Meanwhile, poor countries have seen development gains of recent years wiped out. In this, we see illustrated the injustices wrought by inequality.

With reduced consumption and industrial production, greenhouse gas emissions went down, proving in real time how we can act when the urgency of a situation is appreciated. The urgency of acting on Covid-19 was easy for most people to understand. Climate action, on the other hand, requires a broader understanding, yet the urgency remains the same.

Under Covid-19, a new understanding of what is important may have created a crack in the widespread belief that material consumption is the highest value in life. We miss getting together or sharing a meal with loved ones without being afraid of a virus. At the same time, we question whether relentless consumption and travel are as essential as we once thought.

Now we want to get back to normal. Or do we? Many people have been given the chance to reflect on what the world should look like after Covid-19. If we can transform our lifestyle and society in just a couple of months to avoid spreading a virus, then is it not possible to change our societies to avoid climate catastrophe?

Is it possible to convert the world economy, built on extracting and depleting natural resources without regard for the environment, to one based on sustainable sources of energy, eliminating waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems?

Panellists:

  • Reverend James Bhagwan, Pacific Conference of Churches (Fiji)
  • Iyad Abu Moghli, Faith For Earth UNEP (Nairobi)
  • Liza Zogib, DiversEarth and Chair of the IUCN Religion, Spirituality, Environmental Conservation and Climate Justice Specialist Group (Switzerland)
  • Mohamed Mohideen, Islamic Council of Victoria (Australia)

Moderator: Faith Biddle, Friends World Committee for Consultation (UK)

Zoom Host: Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University:


Online Event #2: COP26 –Ramp Up Ambition!

Tuesday 3 November

4:00-5:30 pm GMT

5:00-6:30 pm CET

11:00-12:30 am EST

Kindly register here

Format: English with Spanish interpretation ¦ 

The postponement of COP26 creates a challenge to keeping up the tempo on climate action. States’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are not even close to ensuring global temperature rise remains below 2°C, let alone the necessary 1.5°C.

Inaction from governments is no longer an option. 2020 is the year when the GHG emissions curve must begin to fall in order to have a chance of attaining the Paris Agreement goals. Climate actions undertaken by States must contain a mechanism to compensate for loss and damage. Finance, technology transfer and capacity building for adaptation must be made available to least developed and climate-vulnerable countries. Covid-19 has shown the world that there is finance available to respond to an emergency. The climate emergency needs to be met with the same determination. There is no real alternative - continuing to stall action will eventually lead to catastrophic loss and damage.

This panel will engage with the following questions:

  1. What is important to have on the agenda for COP26 and what does that mean for climate action now?
  2. What are Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and what is a fair share for countries’ NDCs?
  3. What is needed to make a reality of National Adaptation Plans to ensure that adaptation efforts are community-based and locally led?
  4. Does geoengineering offer a potential solution to climate change, or is it an excuse for business as usual?
  5. Where do we find the motivation and power to raise ambition in the climate negotiations?

Panellists:

  • Sarmad Iqbal, Islamic Relief Worldwide (Pakistan)
  • Neil Thorns, Chair of the Climate Coalition and Advocacy Director of CAFOD (UK)
  • Prof Joyashree Roy, Bangabandhu Chair Professor, Asian Institute of Technology. IPCC Author (Thailand)
  • Moema de Miranda, Churches and Mining, Franciscans (Brazil)
  • Ovais Sarmad, UNFCCC Deputy Executive Secretary (Bonn)

Moderator: Lindsey Fielder-Cook, Representative for Climate Change, Quaker United Nations Office (Geneva)

Zoom Host: Lutheran World Federation


Online Event #3: Hope for the future

Tuesday 10 November

4:00-6:30 pm GMT

5:00-7:30 pm CET

11:00-13:30 am EST

Kindly register here 

Format: English with simultaneous Spanish interpretation ¦ interactive dialogue during the break-out session in English and Spanish

Discussions on climate change and a sustainable transition face many obstacles. Against this background, faith traditions often return to the notion of hope. While hope may be perceived by some as simply synonymous with wishful thinking, true hope is visionary, generating the force and determination that motivates us to act and to change.

This panel will engage with the following topics:

  1. What stories of hope can faith communities offer on actions on climate change or climate justice?
  2. What stories of hope do we hear from the wider climate movement?
  3. How can intergenerational, gender, and racial justice move us towards a better future?
  4. What insights into responding to the climate crisis can we gather from the restrictions we have experienced under Covid-19?

As part of this online event, we will offer an interactive dialogue between participants, sharing and gathering participants’ ideas on this topic, as well as visions for the future.

Panelists: 

  • Tais Tokusato, Soka Institute for the Amazon, Brazil
  • Fr Joshstrom Kureethadam, Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, India
  • Khulekani Sizwe Magwaza, Lutheran World Federation Youth Representative, South Africa
  • Sister Jayanti Kirpalani, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, UK

Moderator: Chiara Martinelli, CIDSE - International family of Catholic social justice organisations

Zoom Host: Interfaith Glasgow & Interfaith Scotland


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