A seven-day faith climate change convergence takes place this week in New Orleans, North America. Young from a variety of faiths, including Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Quaker, Baha’i and spiritual but not religious faiths will come together for the week ling reflection, training, and action. The ‘Faith Rising’ Convergence is taking place just as scientists announce the last twelve months have been the hottest on record.
Those attending will be building a new network of the next generation of leaders who are acting on climate change and the environment through their respective religions. At the convergence, they will be learning new skills for advocacy, communications and community building.
Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of Greenfaith, the organization facilitating the convergence said: “We are at a critical point in history. The window for action to protect our world from climate change is closing fast. The faith community must step up to this challenge, which is why we are turning to the next generation of leaders. They are the last generation who can do anything about this crisis, and they will be the first to truly see its impacts if we fail.”
The convergence will culminate in an action at the office of Republican US Representative Steve Scalise. The leaders attending the convergence will join with local community groups to ask him to reflect on the connections between his own Catholic faith and the need to take action on climate change, to protect the people of Louisiana and other vulnerable peoples around the world.
New Orleans is ground zero for climate change impacts in the United States, which is why the convergence is being held there. The young leaders attending will meet with communities affected by climate change, including those of Isle de Jean Charles, who are the first to be allocated federal funding for relocation due to climate change impacts.
The New Orleans ‘Faith Rising’ Convergence is the second in a series of convergences taking place around the world. The first took place in Rome during the summer of 2015, and there are others planned in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this year and in India in 2017.