What is COP28?

COP28 is the 28th Conference of Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). UNFCCC COPs are organized annually and this year’s UNFCCC COP, COP28, is hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. COP28 – just like past COPs – is a critical global event where the member states of the UN come together to address the growing problem of climate change. Country delegations from the 193 UNFCCC member states discuss and coordinate efforts to combat climate change. During these meetings, leaders and representatives from each member state negotiate, make agreements, and set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), which are responsible for global warming and climate change. They also discuss how to help countries adapt to the changing climate (adaptation) and provide financial support to those in need.


What is the Faith Pavilion at COP28?

In response to the growing climate crisis, faith communities are coming together to host the first ever Faith Pavilion at COP28. The Faith Pavilion aims to serve as a platform to catalyse more ambitious, effective, and just climate action.


For this, the Pavilion brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including faith communities of every kind, to engage strategically with key stakeholders including negotiators and political leaders, showcase environmental work done by Faith actors, catalyse partnerships between different Faiths and between Faith and non-Faith actors/organisations, and promote interfaith dialogue, information sharing, and capacity building.


Who is organizing 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 including the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, the Episcopal Diocese of California, the Partnership on Religion and Development, Peace Department, and over 50 faith-based organizations.


Where is the Faith Pavilion located?

The Faith Pavilion is located in the Blue Zone, for directions and geographical location click here.


Why the first-ever Faith Pavilion at COP28?

The Faith Pavilion at COP28 is the first time that faith communities have united to call for action, inspire the world with solutions, and demonstrate the significance of faith in our approach to supporting people and planet.


Over 84 percent of the global population identify with a religion, which means faith communities – in every part of the world – must be involved in positive solutions to tackle the climate crisis, support those in need, restore nature and biodiversity, and promote climate justice.


Faith communities are at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Inspired by values and drawing from shared wisdom, they are leveraging power to call on decision-makers to take urgent action.


Why do faith communities care about climate change?

Faith communities understand stewardship of the Earth as a moral responsibility, seeing Earth as a gift to be protected for future generations. Many faith teachings promote values of compassion and justice; we see tackling climate change as an act of compassion to support those most vulnerable to its impacts and a pursuit of climate justice.  Climate change threatens the well-being of people and planet, aligning with a core principle of care for the vulnerable and marginalized. We recognize that sustainable living and caring for the environment align with spiritual teachings.


Climate change is not only a matter of science, critical though that is. It is not only a matter of technological change, as exciting as that can be. It is a matter of faith – of seeing ourselves anew. The planetary crisis we are living through is at its heart a moral crisis.


We reiterate the words of former dean of the Yale University School of the Environment, Gus Speth:  “I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy. To deal with those issues we need a spiritual and cultural transformation.”


What is the role of faith communities in tackling climate change?

The world’s faith communities put words into action through more than 1.5 million projects globally that tackle the climate crisis head-on – from adopting renewables in places of worship, schools, and health centers to nature restoration, and from fossil fuel divestment to investing in the economy of the future.


Faith communities play further crucial roles in tackling the climate crisis by raising awareness and speaking up for urgent action. We educate our communities about environmental issues and the ethical imperative of stewardship. And we engage in environmental advocacy, pushing for policy changes that align with our values of environmental protection and social justice.


How do the Faith Pavilion at COP and the Global Faith Leaders Summit complement each other?

Ahead of COP-28, the Global Faith Leaders Summit brought together various religious leaders around the world to sign a historic interfaith declaration on climate change. The Faith Pavilion continues this mission in the same spirit of unifying people of all faiths and perspectives for environmental action. The Faith Pavilion – like the Global Faith Leaders summit will create an opportunity for dialogue with religious and Indigenous representatives, scientists, young people, and political leaders to accelerate climate action.