A letter and call to Action from the COP28 Faith Pavilion

Dear partners and friends,

The COP28 Faith Pavilion has issued a Call to Action urging summit negotiators to reach more ambitious commitments, that reflect the values of justice, interconnectedness and compassion for those most affected. Faith communities at COP28 expressed concern about the scale and urgency needed to hold global temperature to the ceiling of 1.5° C, and call on negotiators and policymakers to:

  • Prioritize a just transition to a green economy
  • Adopt the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • Prioritize the protection of species and ecosystems in climate negotiations
  • Provide new and sustained funding and new forms of access to the Green Climate Fund
  • Extend and diversify funding for a just and inclusive access to the Loss and Damage Fund

Bishop Marc Andrus, Episcopal Diocese of California, said: “The Loss and Damage Fund is welcome news, but we are no way near reaching the agreements needed to stay at a target of 1.5° C. Inclusive access to Loss and Damage, commitment to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and new forms of access for the Green Climate Fund are all crucial commitments that we want to see realised at COP28. The message from faith communities is clear: we will be holding negotiators to account and reminding them to act with their conscience to ensure the protection of planet, and all those that call it home.”

Dr. Iyad Abumoghli, Director of the Faith for Earth Coalition of UNEP, said: “As stewards of this Earth, this Call to Action invites all hearts and minds to unite in action. Let our convictions transcend boundaries, inspiring collective responsibility for climate protection. Together, we can chart a path of sustainable change guided by compassion and shared commitment.”

Khushwant Singh, Head of Secretariat, International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), said: “The Faith Pavilion, featuring over 300 speakers from all over the world, sparks transformative paradigm shifts, evokes actions, virtues and wisdom needed to safeguarding the well-being of all sentient beings, and protecting nature and the whole of Mother Earth. Values such as inclusivity, humbleness, honesty, far-sightedness, and altruism are crucial, particularly amongst decision makers.”

Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Founder of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, said: “Faith leaders are united with climate scientists and activists to say: now is not the time to deny the science. Now that the talks are in the negotiations phase, faith communities are actively pushing to ensure the needs of the poorest and the planet are placed at the heart of the agreements we desperately need.”

The full Call to Action can be viewed here

We would request you to support the Call to Action by singing up here (as an individual and/or organization)

Please feel free to approach your media contacts based on this mail to inform them about the work of the Faith Pavilion and the Call to Action.

About the COP28 Faith Pavilion  

The Faith Pavilion will be hosted by the Muslim Council of Elders in collaboration with the COP28 Presidency, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), and a coalition of faith partners including the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, the Episcopal Diocese of California, the Partnership on Religion and Development, Peace Department, and over 70 faith-based organisations. The Pavilion will host more than 70 sessions with religious figures, scientists, and political leaders, as well as encouraging intergenerational dialogue involving young faith leaders and indigenous peoples.


About UNEP Faith for Earth Initiative

The UN Environment Program’s Faith for Earth Initiative promotes faith leadership, faith-based organizations and communities as custodians of far-reaching, value-based perspectives on environmental sustainability.

About the Muslim Council of Elders 

The Muslim Council of Elders is an independent international organization that aims to promote peace within Muslim communities and between Muslim communities and non-Muslim communities. The Council – chaired by His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb – unites Muslim scholars, experts, and dignitaries internationally recognized for their wisdom, understanding of justice, independence, and moderation.

About the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development 

The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development connects religion and ecology and galvanizes faith communities’ action and teaching on environmental sustainability.

About The Episcopal Diocese of California

The Episcopal Diocese of California, also known as the Episcopal Church in the Bay Area, serves a diverse community of faith encompassing the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

About the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) 

The International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) convenes governments, multilateral entities, academia and religious actors to amplify contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

About COP28

COP28 is being be held at Expo City Dubai from 30 Nov. to 12 Dec. 2023. More than 70,000 participants – including heads of state, government officials, industry leaders and climate experts – will come to the UAE to help deliver a vital blueprint for action to safeguard the planet.

Facts on the scale and breadth of the faith movement active in communities globally

  • Six billion people (84% of the world’s population) have a faith, religion or values system
  • More than 1.5 million projects globally to address climate change are run by faith groups
  • Faith groups own and are responsible for more than 8% of the Earth’s habitable land
  • Faith groups own and are responsible for more than 5% of all commercial forests on the planet
  • More than 4 in 10 health services (40%) in some countries are operated by faith groups
  • Half of schools worldwide (50%) are owned or operated by faith groups – rising to 64% of schools in sub-Saharan Africa
  • 10% of the world’s financial institutions are faith-related, making faith institutions the world’s third largest investor.  Research shows that “faith-aligned” impact investment capital is valued at $5 trillion worldwide

Thank you!

Ellie Simpson
Author: Ellie Simpson



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