WCC general secretary speaks at COP28

In his address, Pillay emphasised the unique perspective faith traditions bring to the often contentious UN climate negotiations. While debates over financial responsibilities escalate, faith communities introduce the lenses of compassion and justice, urging policymakers to safeguard human dignity and the sacredness of creation amidst the accelerating climate crisis.

"In a broken and desecrated world, we seek right relations, reparation, and restoration," said Pillay. He framed the climate crisis as a moral and spiritual imperative, citing the WCC 11th Assembly statement that described the climate emergency as stemming from a fixation on profit. This ethical crisis requires a shift away from market-based solutions to address its root causes.

While acknowledging the grim realities of climate science, Pillay underscored the role of faith communities in articulating a vision of solidarity, wholeness, and equitable resource sharing. He emphasised that faith-inspired networks have been at the forefront of practical climate action globally.

Highlighting examples of faith-based initiatives, Pillay mentioned advocacy for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, the push for an Ecocide Law, and participation in the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative for forest protection. Faith communities are also engaged in land regeneration and sustainable living models.

Pillay concluded: "Faith is the missing piece in the climate discussions and for climate action. Our liturgies, humanitarian responses, and sustainable practices inspire hope and drive impactful change."

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