Pope Francis, Al-Azhar Grand Imam join forces for urgent climate action

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

 In a powerful display of unity, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, have signed a declaration of support for urgent climate action. Their joint message, delivered via video addresses to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, underscored the gravity of the climate crisis and the need for immediate action.

 The Pope and Grand Imam’s timely intervention coincides with the historic establishment of the first-ever Faith Pavilion at COP28, a testament to the growing recognition of faith communities’ crucial role in addressing climate change. The pavilion, spearheaded by the Muslim Council of Elders in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), serves as a platform for interfaith dialogue, knowledge sharing, and collaboration on climate solutions.

 In their respective video addresses, both leaders issued a clarion call to action. Pope Francis emphasized the need for global alliances that prioritize the collective good, urging religious leaders to set an example of sustainable living and advocate for bolder environmental policies. Similarly, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar commended the Muslim Council of Elders’ initiatives in bringing faith leaders together to address climate change, highlighting the urgency of protecting our planet from further destruction.

 Reaffirming the UAE’s commitment to peace, tolerance, and sustainable development, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, welcomed participants to the Faith Pavilion. He emphasized the UAE’s belief in global collaboration as the cornerstone of progress and stability.

 Echoing this sentiment, COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber underscored the vital role of faith communities in fostering environmental awareness and shared responsibility. He applauded the unifying message of hope, peace, and optimism emerging from the faith communities’ collective commitment to protect our planet.

 Amplifying the call for action, Mohamed Abdelsalam, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, hailed the Faith Pavilion as a symbol of peace and cooperation, bringing together the wisdom of diverse religions in the fight against climate change. He emphasized the significance of the Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement for COP28, signed by faith leaders from across the globe, in mobilizing faith communities to address the climate crisis.

The statement has garnered support from representatives of Anglicans, Bahá’ís, Bohras, Buddhists, Coptic Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Evangelicals, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Mahikaris, Mandaeans, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Shia Muslims, Sikhs, and Sunni Muslims.

 In addition to signing the declaration, faith leaders pledged their support to the Faith Pavilion, which will host over 70 sessions fostering meaningful interfaith collaboration and engagement. These sessions will bring together religious and Indigenous representatives, scientists, young people, and political leaders to explore climate justice solutions.

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