Action not Words – what can Birmingham do after the Climate Conference?
A successful conference organised by the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group and Footsteps was attended by around 40 people from across Birmingham’s faith communities at Carrs Lane Church on Sunday 21 November. In addition, some 15 joined via the live streaming.
We first heard Kamran Shezad reflect on his experience of attending COP26 in Glasgow. This was followed by Prubhjyot Singh sharing his EcoSikh experience and Simon Slater, EcoBirmingham director, speaking about working together with Birmingham’s communities and networks. There was an update on Footsteps’ activities and its new Project 4F helping faith communities on their low carbon journeys. Finally, Cllr Wazeem Zaffar shared his vision for faith communities’ role, and Amrick Ubhi, Birmingham Faith Leaders Group vice-chair made some reflections on the afternoon.
The afternoon was live streamed and recorded by Matt Collins, MC Live Events. You can see speaker highlights below:
The full video of the speakers is available on the Carrs Lane Facebook page (start at 7mins 22secs – you don’t need an account).
Read more about Project 4F (as mentioned in the video) for details of (1) faith building energy reduction help, (2) repair cafes and swishing event opportunities and (3) household fuel bill advice and support for faith community members having difficulty keeping warm and paying energy bills.
We divided into four workshops to identify the action we could be taking as faith communities in four key areas:
- Details of access by public transport and bike provision should be on our websites.
- Hybrid events should be continued to save journeys.
- Think about the social aspects, e.g. walking and cycling clubs etc.
- Speaking up for and encouraging insulation for those living in poorly insulated houses.
- Educating and changing hearts and minds.
- Faith communities working together on buildings where the greatest difference can be made.
- Improve communication about what is going on – map what is happening.
- Developing individual plans for communities.
- Vigils as a way of bringing people together.
- Use less meat.
- Increase awareness of where we get vegetables from and how they are packaged.
- Do we over cater? What do we do with leftovers?
A strong message from the afternoon was the need to work together, and to reach out to new groups, to help the climate movement reach the critical mass needed to be a major force for change and impact on government and decision makers at all levels.