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9th March 2023

SGI participates in Ethical Perspectives Briefing on COP27 and COP28

  • Sustainability & climate change

On 9 February 2023, the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change, Environment and Human Rights (GIF), of which SGI is a member, co-organized a briefing session on COP27 and COP28 to reflect on the issues of equity, climate justice, youth participation, civil society and Indigenous Peoples in the COP processes. Rev. Sivin Kit from the Lutheran World Federation offered opening remarks.

Moderated by Valériane Bernard of the Brahma Kumaris, the first panel brought together Vicente Paolo Yu, lead negotiator for the G77 on the issue of loss and damage; Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo from the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary; Maro Maua, a youth from the Lutheran World Federation; and Alexandra M. Goossens-Ishii of SGI. The speakers highlighted the various ways faith-based organizations were engaged at COP27 and discussed the ethical perspectives of the negotiations.

Climate justice is racial justice, gender justice, intergenerational justice. It's welcoming the stranger.

"Climate justice is racial justice, gender justice, intergenerational justice. It's welcoming the stranger," said Astudillo. Yu highlighted concrete ways in which the COP processes can enable us to move towards equity. Maua focused on youth participation. Goossens-Ishii shared about civil society participation from a human rights perspective.

Moderated by Athena Peralta of the World Council of Churches, the second panel discussion focused on expectations and preparations for COP28, which will take place in the UAE from 28 November to 12 December 2023. The panelists were Cindy Kobei, an Indigenous Peoples’ representative and member of the Ogiek Youth Council; Therese Arnesen of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Budi Tjahjono of the Franciscans International; Yves Lador of Earthjustice; and Vicente Paolo Yu, who also spoke on the first panel. The speakers shared their expectations and perspectives on COP28, highlighting the need to continue engaging with the COP28 process from a human rights and climate justice perspective to deliver real results to people affected by the severe impacts of the climate crisis. In this context, the Global Stocktake and the Loss and Damage Fund, which will be on the agenda of COP28, represent key opportunities to lead to concrete action grounded in human rights.

The GIF includes: Act Alliance, Franciscans International, World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, Dominicans for Justice and Peace, Brahma Kumaris and Soka Gakkai International.