Pope Francis, Indian spiritual leaders Sadhguru and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will lead the call for global action at COP28 at the first-ever Faith Pavilion to be held at a climate conference, featuring more than 300 faith leaders, public figures, and 70 leading faith-based organisations.
The 87-year-old pontiff will inaugurate the Faith Pavilion on December 3, following his appeal to world leaders at the World Climate Action Summit taking place at COP28 on December 1 and 2.
A joint event of faith leaders will also be held at the UN Climate Action Zone, during which the interfaith movement will present five key policy asks to negotiators, including interfaith support for a Fossil-Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Pavilion will also house the Tree of Conscience – a tree collectively planted by 28 high-level faith leaders from over 19 faiths and denominations during the Global Faith Leaders Summit on climate change this past November in Abu Dhabi.
What is the 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.
According to organisers, the pavilion has been designed as a pioneering space to foster meaningful interfaith collaboration and engagement, with the goal of catalysing effective and ambitious climate action.
The space will host dialogues and sessions promoting climate justice collaboration among religious and Indigenous representatives, scientists, young people, and political leaders.
High-profile speakers attending include:
• Sadhguru, founder and head of the Isha Foundation
• High Commissioner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi
• Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living foundation
• Adil Najam, President, WWF International
• Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan
• United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Nazila Ghanea
• World Evangelical Alliance General-Secretary Archbishop Dr Thomas Schirrmacher
• Founder and CEO of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism Lynn Forester de Rothschild
• Indonesian American climate activist Nana Firman
• Canadian environmental activist Kehkashan Basu
COP28 will be held at Expo City Dubai from November 30 until December 12 at Expo City Dubai.
(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)