Faiths Unite: Visions for Transformative Climate Action

In the first event The World We Want on the 27th October, Faith Biddle opened by saying: “Our interfaith climate conversations are part of what spurs us on to do the work that we maybe do predominantly individually.”  Reverend James Bhagwan from Pacific Conference of Churches started with a challenge to the dominant narrative on the climate crisis: “Where we speak of death and destruction, we choose to speak life, especially when we come from an area that is deeply affected by climate change.”  Mohamed Mohideen from the Islamic Council of Victoria highlighted the strength of interfaith collaboration and the importance that “we believe in each other, share with each other and come together.”

During the second event on the 3rd November COP26: Ramp up the Ambition! the last question asked panelists to reflect on a more personal question:  What does climate ambition mean to you from your heart, outside of your role? And how can these interfaith efforts strengthen us on a daily basis? Professor Roy from Asian Institute of Technology felt she was driven primarily by the desire to do no harm to others and also added : ”But love is the sole driving force. If we are driven by love, I don’t think we can do harm to others.”  For Moema Miranda it was also a question of love and its ability to motivate: “These moving feelings are those that keep us going […] We can more connect with an open love, with a kind of love that can involve all of Earth.” Some of the panelists also emphasized the importance of taking action.  Sarmad Iqbal said: “All our actions have an impact on the most vulnerable.  This compels us to act.  The motivation of faith will help us to stand firm.”

The third event on the 10th November was entitled:  Hope for the Future.  Chiara Martinelli introduced the event and emphasized the supportive role faith plays in the struggle for climate.  Chiara reflected that hope is not just a wishful word but can be generative, offering a clear vision and determination to achieve climate justice. She emphasised the value that the experiences of different faith traditions can bring to this discussion.  Father Joshtrom reflected that the climate crisis is huge but that just as God brings David, a small boy, to fight the giant Goliath in the Bible story, the climate crisis will be faced from below. “From the below, from the peripheries, we see people come together to fight for climate justice and the human family.”  Khulekani Magwaza of the Lutheran World Federation emphasised the significant role of faith communities in climate action: “they can serve as a moral compass for implementing climate policies and strategies”, as well as offer examples for society at large.  He closed by re-emphasizing the theme picked up on by other speakers also: that faith gives support to ambition and hope.  For the full report, click here

UNFCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

IUCN : International Union for Conservation of Nature

Report on Faiths Unite: Visions for Transformative Climate Action

Online event 1 – The World We Want

Online event 2 – COP26: Ramp up the Ambition!

Online event 3 – Hope for the Future

icon linking to PDF document Click here to see the report

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