Faith for the Climate Symposium, St John’s Waterloo, Sept 2016
Diana Nefiodow reports on the Interfaith Symposium on Climate Change
Climate change activists of many denominations met at the Interfaith Climate Symposium on 21st September in the St. John´s Church, Waterloo, London. It was the same day that the UN announced that the Paris climate agreement is on the brink of coming into force because 31 nations have ratified the deal.
The Interfaith Climate Symposium was attended by over 130 representatives of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith communities who are engaged in the care for our creation. The talks and workshops given were informative and encouraging. Everyone enjoyed the vegan supper.
The first guest speaker was Bishop Nicholas Holtam. He pledged that nobody should ignore climate change. He noticed that there seems to be
“a gap between what we believe and what we do on climate change” which is similar to what once the Apostle Paul noted in his letter.
Bishop Holtam warned that we have to change the way we live because of climate change.
George Marshall (right) from Climate Outreach pointed out that people are not motivated to get more engaged about climate change by just by listening to facts and figures, because they select the information. If one wants to convince people to do more, then he recommended a different approach;
People are motivated if they have shared values and if they feel the joy of belonging to a particular group. He asked the audience to reflect on what their core values are so that they can change their approach.
Sir David King gave a detailed description of the latest findings of climate change. It was a very informative presentation which gave everyone up-to-date knowledge – which they can now use. Download his talk
Dr Husna Ahmed, Chief Executive of Global One, gave an emotional speech about climate change and the rising anti Muslim tendencies in Europe. Download
Workshops followed these talks: on better communication, faith groups and climate change, non-violent action, engaging one’s own congregation, funding, Eco Church, and political engagement.
Rabbi Natan Levi closed the evening by giving an outlook into future projects of the Interfaith Climate Symposium group and by collecting suggestions of improvement. He finally encouraged everyone to join their “soon to start” Facebook Group.
If you are interested in getting engaged, these are the next key dates: October 8-16 with the speak up week of Climate Action. The next Interfaith Climate Symposium will be on January 25th 2017 followed by the For the Love of Climate Coalition Campaign on Valentine´s Day.
Other accounts of this conference can be read at
- St John’s website (including downloadable talks from the main speakers)
- Operation Noah website – article by Ruth Jarman
Green Christian had a stall at the Symposium; Ruth Jarman led a workshop on direct action