Religious leaders to take part in Abu Dhabi summit on road to Cop28

Key meeting will highlight role faith communities can play in protecting the planet

The gathering will explore how faith and science can be combined to engage communities in meaningful action. EPA
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Faith leaders will come together in Abu Dhabi in the lead-up to Cop28 to highlight the crucial role the world's religions can play in the fight against climate change.

The global summit, held under the patronage of President Sheikh Mohamed, will be held from November 6 to 7 – a few weeks before the climate conference takes centre stage.

The event has been organised by the Muslim Council of Elders, in partnership with the Cop28 Presidency, the UN Environment Programme and the Catholic Church, state news agency Wam reported on Wednesday.

A venue for the meeting has not been announced.

Senior representatives of the world's major religions will be joined by academics and environmental experts to discuss the ethical duty of faith leaders to address the climate crisis.

The gathering will also explore how faith and science can be combined to engage communities in meaningful action.

“As our world inches closer to irreversible climate damage that can only be addressed through collective effort, the preliminary summit of religious leaders for Cop28 comes at a critical moment,” said Mohamed Abdelsalam, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Elders.

He underlined the need to combat “climate change ignorance” and added that “raising awareness of environmental issues have become imperative”.

The council and UNEP will co-host a faith pavilion at Cop28.

“Inclusion is the foundation of the Cop28 Presidency,” said Majid Al Suwaidi, director general of Cop28.

“Faith-based communities and organisations play a crucial role in helping the world address climate change. To highlight this, Cop28 will be the first Cop to host a pavilion dedicated to the engagement of faith communities.

“Our goal is to provide a global stage for fostering religious engagement and interfaith dialogue with the aim of inspiring ambitious goals and concrete actions to address the climate crisis.”

Cop28 will be held at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

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.

Road to Cop28 – in pictures

Updated: September 06, 2023, 7:00 PM