Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-designate, met with Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, to discuss the crucial role of faith leaders in advancing the climate agenda at COP28.
The COP28 Presidency has joined hands with the Vatican, the Muslim Council of Elders, and the United Nations Environment Programme to ensure inclusivity in the COP process by integrating faith organisations into climate discussions.
Inclusivity is a core pillar of the COP28 Presidency, with the aim of providing a platform where all voices, including faith organisations , are heard, especially those focused on assisting vulnerable communities affected by loss and damage .
To enhance the role of faith communities in the COP process, the COP28 Presidency has designed a series of inter-faith initiatives leading up to and during the conference.
One key initiative is the Confluence of Conscience, a global summit for faith leaders scheduled for November 6-7 in Abu Dhabi. This summit will unite religious leaders, academics, and scientists to collectively address the findings of the Global Stocktake (GST) and sign a declaration to advance climate action at COP28.
The summit will discuss the ethical responsibilities of faith leaders in addressing the climate crisis and will call for increased ambition at COP28 and beyond.
It will also assess actions taken by religious leaders from Paris to COP28, focusing on specific areas to address the gaps highlighted in the COP28 Presidency’s Action Agenda, with the goal of restoring hope in the field of climate action.
Faith pavilion at COP28
The COP28 Presidency will co-host the Faith Pavilion at COP28 , marking the first-ever pavilion of its kind at a COP event. This pavilion will host panels with religious leaders, scientists, and political leaders.
It will also encourage intergenerational dialogue involving young faith leaders and indigenous representatives.
Key focus of COP28
COP28 presents an opportunity to fast-track the energy transition by building the energy system of the future , while rapidly decarbonising the energy system of today to keep 1.5 degrees C within reach.
The world must triple its renewable energy capacity and achieve near-zero methane emissions by 2030.
Pope Francis invited to COP28
During their meeting in Rome, Dr Al Jaber and Pope Francis discussed the importance of the Global Stock take and the need for a detailed action plan to provide a robust and comprehensive response to the findings within the key pillars of the Paris Agreement.
Dr Al Jaber emphasised the urgency for COP28 to raise ambition and restore hope for current and future generations. He also extended an invitation to Pope Francis to join the World Climate Action Summit at COP28 .
Faith and interfaith activities for climate agreement
The diverse faith and interfaith activities, along with religious organisations , will support the call for a fair and ambitious climate agreement at COP28 and bolster the efforts of those working toward it.
Key areas of COP28 Presidency
The COP28 Presidency focuses on four key areas: fast-tracking a just, orderly, and well-managed energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people, lives, and livelihoods, and ensuring full inclusivity.
The Presidency has called on contributing countries to deliver the $100bn pledge this year and urged countries to double adaptation finance by 2025 while replenishing the Green Climate Fund.