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United Nation Environment Assembly (UNEA4) 3/15 Session


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Faith, Global Ethics and Climate Commitments; The Fifth Directive of the Parliament’s Global Ethic, funded initiative, and the Climate Commitments Project

About The Event

This panel presentation will show the continuity that exists between faith or religion, “global ethics” or values shared across traditions, the ethical and spiritual nature of a commitment, and the ways that concrete action is a direct expression of commitment. We will bring together research, reflection and story in addition to information on current environmental programs to demonstrate this continuity and its importance. In 1993 the centenary Parliament of the World’s Religions adopted a “Declaration towards a Global Ethic” with Four Directives or principles. In 2018 the 25th anniversary of the Global Ethic was observed with the adoption of a Fifth Directive – on Sustainability and Care for the Earth – based on points in environmental ethics on which traditions agree. This inquiry on shared values has been a long-standing project of both UNEP and the Parliament, as well as the Earth Charter (finalized in 2000) which will also be included in our discussion. All these texts call us to commitment. A commitment, vow or promise made in the presence of a community is a theme common to the world’s religions and is now a focus of many civil society groups and faith-based organizations or FBOs. The Parliament’s Climate Commitments Project is a program of capacity-building and movement-building among faith-based organizations concerned with climate commitment; it seeks to catalyze and strengthen commitments on advocacy, greening of congregations, decarbonization and resources and education, launching an intercommunications hub, providing forums and developing methodologies for assessment of impact.


This program will display the continuity between faith, ethics shared across traditions, the key role of commitment, and concrete action that comes directly from commitment. “Facts” even when proven by research do not necessarily motivate people to action, while faith based and ethical commitment can do so. We will share insights, resources, best practices and plans for ongoing programs among FBOs that focus on ethics and commitment as essential to their work.

  • Kiran Bali Mbe Jp, Global Council Chairperson and an At-Large Trustee of the United Religions Initiative (URI)
    • Theme: The Environmental Network of the United Religions Initiative
  • Debra Boudreaux, Executive Vice President, Tzu Chi Foundation
    • Theme: The Commitment of Compassion for All Beings
  • Dr. Charles Mcneill, UN Environment Senior Advisor on Forests & Climate
    • Theme: Global Ethics for the Environment: An Emerging Understanding
  • REV. Dr. Rachel Mash, Environmental Coordinator of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
    • Theme: A Faith-Based Response to Climate Change: The Green Anglican Movement
  • Dr. Kusumita P. Pedersen, Trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions and a founding member of its Climate Action Task Force (CATF)
    • Theme: The Climate Commitments Project: Explore, Collaborate, Assess, Celebrate
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