Ahead of Climate Strikes in Birmingham on 20th September, an interfaith environmental network has set out how politicians, faith groups and environmental organisations can work together to respond to the climate emergency declared by Birmingham City Council in June.
Footsteps (Faiths for a Low Carbon Future) is today publishing a new report: ‘Birmingham Climate Emergency – the Role for Faith Communities’. The report aims to help councillors, politicians, campaign groups, decision makers and civil society to engage more deeply and work more effectively with faith communities. It is also intended to help Birmingham’s faith communities to engage with the challenge of Birmingham becoming a Net Zero Carbon city.
“Faith traditions share a belief that we have a collective responsibility to ‘care for the Earth’ and to love and care for people. Many people of faith share the belief that another world is possible and they can help create that world on this Earth.”Chris Martin, secretary of Footsteps, and one of the report’s authors
The Birmingham Climate Emergency Declaration, passed unanimously by the city council on 11th June 2019, sets a target of a ‘just transition’ to a Net Zero Carbon city by 2030. The report highlights considerable overlap between a ‘just transition’ and what faith communities are doing. The authors hope that by highlighting examples of good practice and suggesting new approaches, people of all faiths and none can work together with those in power to achieve this ambitious target, including via the climate taskforce that the council is setting up.
“Faith groups play a hugely important role in our communities and so I am extremely grateful to Footsteps for its invaluable work in bringing together faith groups across the city to respond to this challenge. Together we can tackle this climate emergency and I look forward to welcoming a faith group representative to the taskforce.”Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment
“I also welcome the Footsteps report and am very pleased at the way in which it highlights the opportunities for strengthening our communities and improving the health and well-being of all Birmingham residents. This is essential for a just and equitable transition to a Net Zero Carbon city – one in which our city’s faith communities have a vital role to play.”Councillor John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities
Footsteps (part of the Birmingham Council of Faiths) is preparing to start putting these words into action very soon. Birmingham’s young people have called a climate strike on Friday 20th September, and Footsteps will be supporting the event in Victoria Square, providing a ‘faith point’ for reflection and worship. Millions of people around the world are expected to join similar strikes, aimed at keeping pressure on politicians to take action on climate change.
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Footsteps (Faiths for a Low Carbon Future) brings together faith groups in Birmingham to respond to the challenge of moving to a low carbon future. It is a branch of Birmingham Council of Faiths, reg. charity no. 1015006. https://footstepsbcf.org.uk/
On Tuesday 11th June 2019 Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a motion declaring a Climate Emergency. This included a resolution “To aspire for the City to be net zero carbon by 2030 or as soon after as a just transition permits –making sure we take communities with us, protecting employment and without impoverishing deprived communities.” https://footstepsbcf.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/BCC-Climate-Emergency-Motion-11062019.pdf
Birmingham Climate Strike will take place in Victoria Square, Birmingham from 11am on 20/09/2019. It has been called by UK Student Climate Network as part of climate strikes across the UK https://ukscn.org/events/birmingham-global-climate-strike/ and as part of the Global Climate Strike https://globalclimatestrike.net/