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  • Rick Bonetti

United Nations and Climate Action

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

"The world is in a climate emergency – a code red for humanity”~ UN Secretary-General

"The concentration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere is wreaking havoc across the world and threatening lives, economies, health and food. The world is far from securing a global temperature rise to below 2°C as promised in the Paris Agreement. The Emissions Gap Report (EGR) 2020 finds that, despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise of over 3°C this century.

The good news is we have solutions now. According to the UNEP is: "It is possible to stay below 2°C aiming for 1.5°C temperature rise as set out in the Paris Agreement using existing solutions. They include renewable energy, green hydrogen, and modern bioenergy — and government subsidies and support could be directed to push towards low-carbon and green policies. Scaling up green transition efforts and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fivefold is critical."

Explore the interactive website UNEP Six-sector solution to a carbon-free future.

United Nations Work With Faith Communities

United Nations Environmental Program's (UNEP) Faith for Earth Initiative is "committed to inspiring and empowering faith organizations and their leaders to advocate for protecting the environment, working alongside dedicated strategic partners to green faith-based organizations’ investments and assets and provide faith organizations with the knowledge and networks to effectively communicate with decision-makers and the public.

The Faith for Earth Coalition strategically addresses local, regional, and global climate and environment-related issues with faith leaders, communities, and organizations towards enhanced environmental stewardship. While focusing on the three overarching goals:

  1. Strengthen partnership with faith-based organizations’ leadership for policy impact

  2. Green faith-based organizations’ investments, operations, and assets

  3. Establish an accessible knowledge-based support system.

United Nations Interagency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development (UN-IATF) - In 2010 the United Nations created UN-IATF, which today includes more than 20 UN agencies. Its purpose is to provide policy guidance around engagement with faith-based actors, deepen UN system staff’s understanding of the intersections of religion and the UN pillars of development, human rights, peace, and security, as well as provide strategic policy guidance.

United Nations Multi-faith Advisory Council (MFAC) - In 2018 the UN IATF established MFAC, an informal and voluntary entity that consists of 45 religious leaders and heads of faith-based organizations (FBOs). The composition reflects the diversity of religions, regions, and nations; they cover different thematic areas that mirror the UN’s mandate.

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