In a world increasingly besieged by climate-related challenges, faith leaders from around the globe are preparing to converge in Abu Dhabi for a historic summit. Scheduled for November 6-7, this two-day event, organized by the Muslim Council of Elders (MCE) in partnership with the COP28 Presidency, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Catholic Church, seeks to emphasize the pivotal role faith communities play in the fight against climate change. Under the esteemed patronage of UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, this summit will pave the way for the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai.
Confluence of Faith and Climate Action
The Abu Dhabi summit aims to foster an alliance between faith and science, bridging the gap between empirical evidence and spiritual teachings. Faith leaders will grapple with their ethical responsibilities in addressing the climate crisis. This unique gathering recognizes that, as our world teeters on the brink of irreversible climate damage, collective efforts across sectors of society are imperative.
Raising Voices for Climate Justice
One of the core objectives of this summit is to amplify the voices of religious leaders in advocating for climate justice. With their moral authority and vast influence, these leaders have the potential to sway public opinion and mobilize action on an unprecedented scale. The summit will provide a platform for them to explore ways in which they can leverage their positions to effect meaningful change.
Engaging Grassroots Communities
The battle against climate change cannot be won without the active participation of grassroots communities. The summit will delve into strategies to involve these communities in sustainable development initiatives. Recognizing that climate change disproportionately affects vulnerable populations, faith leaders will explore how they can support and empower those most at risk.
Faith Pavilion at COP28
In a groundbreaking move, the MCE and UNEP will co-host the Faith Pavilion at COP28, marking the first time such an initiative has been undertaken at a COP event. This pavilion will serve as a global stage for religious engagement and interfaith dialogue. It will inspire ambitious goals and concrete actions to tackle the climate crisis, fostering collaboration between faith-based communities and organizations.
Scope of COP28 UAE
COP28 UAE, scheduled from November 30 to December 12, is poised to be a monumental event. Expected to draw around 70,000 attendees, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youngsters, and non-state players, it will be a melting pot of ideas and solutions.
A noteworthy feature of COP28 UAE is the inaugural Global Stocktake, a comprehensive assessment of progress toward climate targets, as mandated by the Paris Agreement. This assessment will provide a vital snapshot of the world’s efforts to combat climate change and set the stage for more ambitious action in the years ahead.
As the world grapples with the increasingly urgent climate crisis, the faith leaders’ summit in Abu Dhabi stands as a beacon of hope. It underscores the critical role of faith communities in addressing climate change, promotes collaboration between science and spirituality, and seeks to mobilize religious leaders in advocating for climate justice. With COP28 UAE on the horizon, this gathering sets the stage for a united, inclusive, and resolute global effort to combat climate change and secure a sustainable future for all.