A Christian voice on COP28, between realism and a dose of hope

Cop28

COP28 ends today. This summit has always been and is once again closely scrutinized, particularly by civil society with regard to the positions taken and expectations of action in the face of the challenges of the climate crisis.

This event was criticized because of the place where it took place, by the choice of its president Sultan al-Jaber or even for the significant presence of fossil lobbyists and a final text not yet clearly mentioning the exit from fossil fuels. …

In short, enough to be discouraged by a reality that seems marked by inertia and repetition. However, several voices persist in considering this COP as a glass half full, taking note of the operationalization of the "Loss and Damage" fund, an agreement signed at COP27 promising a fund to help countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, first step towards more climate justice.

Among all these diplomatic discussions between countries and companies, something may catch the attention. For the first time at a COP, a pavilion for the Faith was installed in the blue zone, in the heart of the negotiation zone for which participants require specific accreditation.

This pavilion was created to make the voices of religious actors from around the world heard. Because faith and religious institutions “have had a monumental impact on the development of the world as we know it.”

They are the catalysts for change. This place for faith is a place of choice for Christians. This is the case of A Rocha International, which, together with other faith-based NGOs, was able to co-host two conferences.

COP28 may seem distant physically, but also by the impact it will have on our daily lives, and the hope of seeing a decisive agreement seems to have become distant but our faith pushes us to continue to pray to God so that He acts and guides hearts.

Several associations and movements called for prayer before and during COP28. This is the case of A Rocha France and SEL, having just initiated the partnership "loving the poorest also means protecting creation", and who called for prayer in favor of the countries most vulnerable to the environmental crisis on the occasion of COP28.

We can also mention Struggle and Contemplation, which launched a call for mobilization for COP28, of which A Rocha France was a signatory. Providing ideas for organizing circles of silence, through a humble gesture to challenge decision-makers on their power to act.

Other appeals have been launched, not to mention local initiatives and personal expressions wishing to hand over to God the leaders of this world and the decisions taken. So, this dose of hope is there, with all these people mobilized in prayer, in concrete actions, on site in Dubai and who acted at their level for a fairer future. The Pope recalled this in his speech at the Pavilion of Faith:

“And, with God’s help, let us emerge from the night of wars and environmental devastation to transform our common future into a dawn of light.”

Nadège Peter


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