When Glasgow hosted COP26 – the UN Climate Conference – in November 2021, people of all faiths and none came together on Glasgow’s main square in a unique vigil for our planet. Through their diverse languages and forms of prayer and meditation they had one call: for courageous and justice-centred climate action!
Livestreamed and watched by people all over the world, the COP26 Vigil was a powerful, public expression of the interfaith collaboration on the climate that has been building in Scotland and the UK and which will continue long after the COP Presidency has been handed on.
The Talanoa Dialogue, a key feature of faith communities’ presence and contribution at previous COPs brought together, in a hybrid format, local faith groups and COP26 delegates to reflect on and discuss crucial aspects of the climate crisis. Held at Garnethill Synagogue and delivered by our partners at the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the UNFCCC and Interfaith Scotland (with whom we also worked on the vigil), a recording of the Talanoa Dialogue can be watched here.
Glasgow’s diverse faith communities were also part of the huge civil society effort that welcomed climate activists from all over the world – into their homes and their places of worship – and provided a vast programme of events in which people could get involved, learn about the issues we’re facing, and have their voices heard.
We were proud to walk alongside diverse faith leaders and communities under the banner of ‘Climate Justice’, as part of the 100,000 strong march in Glasgow during COP26.
Now we are engaged in the work of building on the amazing local and global connections that have been developed, so as to help people from diverse religion and belief backgrounds explore more deeply the various aspects and demands of climate justice and come together to take action.
We are further developing our links with Scotland’s vibrant civic society climate movement and with interfaith partners across the world; and continuing to act as secretariat to the COP26 Interfaith Working Group, a Scotland-based group of diverse faith-based organisations working to support each other’s climate activism and to build a coordinated interfaith response to the climate emergency. The group’s manifesto can be read here.
The scale of the climate crisis can seem overwhelming and it’s easy to feel powerless. So at meetings and dialogue events we focus on what we can do and, in particular, what we can do together, by reaching out across religious and cultural boundaries and helping people to feel empowered and connected – both locally and with the global interfaith movement for climate justice.
Over the coming years, we will continue to work to ensure that diverse voices are heard in the search for the solutions our planet so badly needs. Join us! Contact email@example.com to find out more.