Birmingham faith groups launch community-led climate action project

A new collaboration between Muslim Bahu Trust, Birmingham Council of Faiths’ Footsteps and climate solutions charity Ashden, will receive £200,000 over three years from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to build the capacity of Birmingham faith groups to engage in community led climate action in disadvantaged areas of the city, and to share the learning widely.

The Birmingham Faith Climate Action Partnership (BiFCAP) will link the role that many places of worship play in their local communities with the need to take urgent action to address the environmental and climate crisis we face. The collaboration will build on the key roles that Birmingham faith communities played during the Covid pandemic and lockdown as vaccination and food distribution centres. It will also build on the way in which care for the natural environment and fellow human beings are central to many faith beliefs.

This new project will be working with and supporting community-led climate action and environmental projects that respond to local needs and concerns involving energy saving measures for homes, connecting communities to the natural environment, sustainable travel, and food. It will be seeking to empower local communities to make change and aim to contribute to shifting power to communities.

“The grant will be a game-changer for faith group climate and environmental action in Birmingham. It brings together Bahu Trust’s experience of working in disadvantaged areas of Birmingham and Footsteps’ record of delivering interfaith activities, with Ashden’s experience and ability to share experience across the UK.”

Kamran Shezad, Bahu Trust

“The Partnership is a natural next step in Footsteps’ work to bring faith groups in Birmingham together, to respond to the challenge of moving to a low carbon future following the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.”

Ruth Tetlow, BCF Footsteps’ President

“Birmingham has a strong tradition of the faith communities working together when faced by crises to build stronger, more inclusive communities. The project and Esmee funding provide a major opportunity to enable Birmingham’s faith communities take effective climate action and then share learning across the UK.”

Dr Peter Rookes, Birmingham Council of Faiths’ trustee

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the UK’s largest independent funders. Founded in 1961 by Ian Fairbairn and named after his wife who was killed in World War II, the grant is part of the Foundation’s Creative, Confident Communities work to strengthen the bonds in communities and help local people to build vibrant, confident places where they can fulfil their creative, human, and economic potential.

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