SAFCEI engages with energy and climate change in several ways and is involved in:
- Advocating our positions and concerns to government leaders and engaging in participative policy processes that focus on climate change and energy.
- Capacity building of faith communities in the area of climate change.
- Networking with faith communities and like-minded organisations within civil society to share our positions and ideas on how to address climate change.
2. Capacity Building:
In 2014 SAFCEI launched the Faith Leaders’ Environment Advocacy Training (FLEAT) which seeks to equip faith leaders with the necessary skills to make positive changes in their communities. SAFCEI believes that people of faith have both a moral imperative and a special platform from which to speak out against socio-ecological injustices that face Africa, including that of climate change. Through networking, advocacy training and sharing their experiences with each other, FLEAT aims to build a platform of common action of faith leaders across Southern Africa.
Conference of the Parties
A unique opportunity arose in South Africa in 2011 – South Africa hosted the international negotiations on climate change (conference of the parties – meeting number 17 – known as COP17). Given that Africa is severely affected by climate change, it is in Africa’s interest that international negotiations, that appear to have effectively stalled, be re-invigorated.
Faith communities have a unique role to play, in addressing the lack of progress – in possibly breaking a deadlock by ”speaking to the heart”, by highlighting the moral imperative to take action in the interests of the planet, rather than in fear driven self-interest that places short economic gains over longer term wellbeing of people and the planet.
In alliance with our various partners and funders, SAFCEI undertook an extensive and ambitious programme of awareness raising, led by a mass rally for climate justice just before COP 17 and again before COP 21.
In 2011 this rally was led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and attended by numerous faith leaders, as well as COP 17 president Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figures, and achieved widespread local and international attention.
We Have Faith
You Tube Video included here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YWYr-jePEg
The initiative of the “We Have Faith – Act now for climate justice”- campaign came from dedicated organizations and faith leaders in South Africa and Kenya during COP17 climate negotiations in Durban in 2011. It was embraced by faith communities at the time and turned into a long-term platform to continue engaging with international climate talks and promote climate change adaptation and mitigation on the ground.
Human made climate change is threatening the livelihoods and lives of millions of Africans. It is endangering species and locking people into poverty. In the beginning, God entrusted the creation to us. We have failed in our role of stewardship. Human beings are causing climate change, and have the power to stop it. Every year the world’s leaders meet to negotiate a global deal on how to mitigate climate change and adapt to the unavoidable effects of it. The negotiations have so far not yielded the results that are needed to save the Creation.
Faith leaders, communities and youth have the integrity to put the much-needed moral and ethical considerations back into the negotiations. Through the campaign “Have Faith – Act now for climate justice” faith leaders, women, men and youth from all over Africa will inform their communities about climate change and jointly push the world leaders to take the right decision.
In 2015, the “We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice” campaign was enlivened again with a cycling caravan that travelled through 9 southern African countries, collecting signatures on a petition that was delivered at COP 21 in Paris.