Speakers of the interfaith panel “Heart to Heart, Hand in Hand” at COP23. ©Sean Hawkey/WCC

Speakers of the interfaith panel “Heart to Heart, Hand in Hand” at COP23. ©Sean Hawkey/WCC

“We have to walk on the land and sail at the sea with care and deep respect for what is given”, said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), as he signed an interfaith statement to be delivered to UN representatives at COP23.

Entitled “Walk on Earth Gently”, the COP23 Interfaith Statement will be presented on 10 November, in Bonn, Germany, where the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change is taking place.

“God the creator has given us this world as our common home, together with all that is created and living here. To love God and to love our neighbor means that we also love the creation of God”, added Tveit.

At COP23, the interfaith statement will be delivered by some 50 faith leaders on bicycles, symbolizing the commitment to sustainable transportation. Organizers aim for a collaborative call to accelerate faith communities to take more ambitious climate actions within their respected faiths/traditions and to share the challenges, success stories and lesson learnt from various initiatives.

“Faith communities have to inspire and mobilize for changes in personal lifestyles and institutional consumption patterns, as well as changes in systems of investment, production and distribution", said Athena Peralta during an interfaith panel promoted at COP23 on 7 November.

Peralta, who serves at the WCC as programme executive for economic and ecological justice, was one of the speakers of the panel entitled “Heart to Heart, Hand in Hand”. The panel was part of the efforts to promote the interfaith statement.

In its first days, COP23 has been confirming the growing realization among various faith communities that climate change has grave implications for the future of our planet and represents great moral and ethical issues.


Sign the COP23 Interfaith Climate Statement

Fijian Methodists call for prayers for COP23 - WCC news release from 7 November 2017

Global churches act together for climate justice in call to COP23 - WCC news release from 4 November 2017

Watch the Ecumenical Call for Climate Justice

WCC work on Care for Creation and Climate Justice