Faith Leaders Deliver Climate Message to COP28 President

News Desk -


COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber took center stage at the Global Faith Leaders’ Summit held in Abu Dhabi, where he received the ‘Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement for COP28’ from prominent faith leaders. He pledged to carry their message to the world at COP28.

This significant event, convened under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, was graced by esteemed figures including Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; His Eminence Professor Mohamed Al Duwani, Deputy of Al Azhar Al Sharif, representing His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed Al Tayed; and His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, representing His Holiness Pope Francis. Notable religious leaders, scholars, and environmental experts participated, and a video address by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, added to the summit’s significance.

The Global Faith Leaders’ Summit united 28 faith leaders who jointly signed the ‘Confluence of Conscience: Uniting for Planetary Resurgence,’ also known as ‘The Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement for COP28.’ This statement reflects their shared commitment to addressing climate change and elevating climate goals leading up to COP28, scheduled for the end of November in Dubai.

This milestone was the result of months of collaboration and was officially signed during the event, which was organized through a partnership between the Muslim Council of Elders (MCE), the COP28 Presidency, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the UAE Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence.

Dr. Al Jaber lauded the document as “a powerful statement of intent that the whole world needs to hear,” highlighting its essence of urgency, unity, solidarity, responsibility, and hope. He acknowledged the influential role of faith leaders, noting that they represent a wide spectrum of beliefs and inspire people to harmonize with nature and protect our fragile world.

The Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement emphasizes the need for transformative action to limit global warming to 1.5°C and support vulnerable communities. The signatories, representing diverse faiths and indigenous traditions, gathered to express their shared concern about escalating climate impacts and their commitment to tackling this global crisis together.

The Faith Leaders’ Summit followed an “extraordinary meeting” in Abu Dhabi dedicated to establishing a Loss and Damage Fund, designed to assist vulnerable populations in recovering from climate-related disasters. Dr. Al Jaber reported progress in this endeavor and emphasized the importance of multilateral cooperation.

COP28, according to Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, presents a crucial moment for the world to unite around ambitious climate goals, and he called upon faith leaders to help spread messages of tolerance, peace, optimism, and prosperity from the UAE to the global community.

The COP28 Presidency has outlined a four-point Action Plan to ensure a just and orderly transition to clean energy, address climate finance issues, prioritize people, nature, lives, and livelihoods, and uphold inclusivity as a central theme.

Inclusivity will be a defining feature of COP28, as Dr. Al Jaber stressed, with a commitment to engaging various stakeholders, including faith leaders, vulnerable groups, youth, women’s organizations, and the scientific community, in dialogue to strengthen sustainable development.

During the summit, a Changemakers Majlis titled ‘Faith and Science: Actioning an Ethic of Care for the Environment’ convened faith leaders, scientists, and decision-makers to promote knowledge sharing and trust-building for a more secure and sustainable world.

As part of his role as COP28 President, Dr. Al Jaber met with Pope Francis in October to discuss the contribution of faith communities to addressing climate change. During COP28, the Presidency will co-host the Faith Pavilion, which is the first-ever pavilion of its kind at a COP event, dedicated to engaging faith communities and showcasing ‘the Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement for COP28.’ The Faith Pavilion will feature panel discussions with religious leaders, scientists, political figures, and encourage intergenerational dialogue with young faith leaders and indigenous representatives.

The ‘Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement for COP28’ was signed by a distinguished group of faith leaders, including:

– His Eminence Professor Mohamed Al-Duwaini, Deputy of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, representing His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb

– His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, representing His Holiness Pope Francis

– His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew The First, Ecumenical Patriarch Of Constantinople

– Maulen Ashimbayev, Head of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions

– Dharma Master Hsin Tao, Founder of the Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society

– The Most Venerable Doctor Shinkai Kori, Chief High Priest Of Nenbutsushu Sampozan Muryojuji Temple

– Father Grigoriy Matrusov, representing His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

– Bhai Sahib Doctor Satpal Singh Khalsa, Head of the Religious and Spiritual Authority for the Sikh Religion in the Western Hemisphere

– His Holiness Mahabrahmrishi Shree Kumar Swami Jee, President of the World Humanity Parliament

– Swami Amritaswarupananda, Head Disciple of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

– Acharya Lokesh Muni, Founder of the Vishwa Shanti Kendra

– His Virtue Sheikh-Ul Islam Allahshukur Pashazadeh, Grand Mufti of the Caucasus

– Sister Maureen Goodman, Director of Brahma Kumaris in the United Kingdom

– General Bishop Anba Ermia, President Of The Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center

– His Eminence Sheikh Rishama Sattar Jabar Hilo, Head of the Mandean-Sabeans in Iraq and the World

– Archbishop Julio Murry of the Anglican Church Of Central America, representing the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

– Husain Burhanuddin, representing His Holiness Syedna Muffadal Saiffuddin, Sultan of the Bohra Community

– His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem The Second, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

– Reverend Jerry Pillay, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches

– Doctor Mohamed Cholil Nafis, President of the Indonesian Ulema Council

– Rabbi Moshe Lewin, Vice President of the Conference Of European Rabbis

– Bani Dugal, Principal Representative of the Baha’i International Community

– Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, Leader of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha

– Chief Rabbi David Rosen, International President of Religions For Peace

– Dr. Salem Bin Mohammed Al Malik, Director General Of The Islamic World Educational, Scientific, And Cultural Organization

– Bishop Thomas Schirrmacher, Secretary-General of the World Evangelical Alliance

– Debra Boudreaux, CEO of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation

– Tokita Hozumi representing Rev. Kōō Okada Spiritual Guide of Sukyo Mahikari

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