Faiths for Climate Justice Advocacy Group
Terms of reference
Who we are, what we do, and how we work
The Faiths for Climate Justice Advocacy Group is an informal coalition of representatives from different faith communities in the UK working together for climate justice. The coalition’s decisions and activities are led by a steering group which meets regularly (see details below), with larger all-coalition meetings called around specific campaigns or actions.
Coalition members include faith-based organisations, faith leaders, civil society advocates, community leaders from UK minority faith groups, and allies in international faith and/or environmental networks. We seek to operate across and beyond traditional constituencies.
We bring a faith angle to selected campaigns led by other organisations or coalitions.
The steering group determines our work priorities in consultation with the wider Faith for the Climate network and with our allies in the climate justice movement. The primary focus of our work is on climate issues with a global justice dimension.
We have three main goals
- Create faith-inspired asks to the UK government, and use our resources to lobby for climate justice.
- Grow faith-inspired collaborations to uphold climate justice.
- Amplify and support other faith-inspired actions on climate justice in international negotiations or campaigns.
There are three main elements to our work:
- Interfaith campaigns and advocacy work with decision makers in the UK
- Resourcing and supporting faith communities to take action on our agreed priority campaigns.
- Encouraging people in our faith networks and communities to take part in specific mass actions relating to our priority issues, such as Loss and Damage Action Day.
The Steering Group is co-chaired by Faith for the Climate and another steering group member organisation. It is responsible for operationalising interfaith climate justice advocacy and campaigns work.
Membership of the steering group is open to individuals from any member of the overall coalition who fulfil these criteria:
· Capacity and experience to advise on and support the group’s goals
· Capacity to integrate and engage the Faiths for Climate Justice Advocacy Group in their day-to-day work
· Commitment to take responsibility for activities on behalf of the Faiths for Climate Justice Advocacy Group
The Steering Group will meet every four to six weeks and will conduct an annual review of the coalition’s effectiveness in consultation with the members of the wider coalition.
Specific areas of responsibility:
- Agree outline programme for key moments and activities during the year
- Ensure other members of the larger coalition are enabled to participate (especially minority faith groups, e.g. Eco-Sikh UK and EcoJudaism)
- Establish and maintain relationships with other allies in the climate justice movement
- Support movement-building activities on behalf of the coalition where appropriate.
- Work with the communications lead in Faith for the Climate’s core team to implement a communications strategy and create shared resources in line with the group’s goals
- Rebecca Woo (co-chair), Quakers in Britain
- Shanon Shah (co-chair), Faith for the Climate
- Avnish Thakrar, Hindu Climate Action
- Jo Chamberlain, Church of England Environment Network
- Luke Harman, Christian Aid
- Olivia Fuchs, Eco Dharma Network
- Suraiya Rahman, Islamic Relief UK
Why we take action together
Faith groups are keenly aware that the climate crisis is an existential threat. Many of us see this through our engagement with the poorest communities who are already suffering most, in the UK and around the world.
We are committed to working together to bring about a just and sustainable society where people, communities and ecosystems can flourish, and where wellbeing is not sacrificed for profit.
Individual action alone will not fix this systemic problem. We believe in the power of collective action to build our movement, challenge the big polluters, and work for a better world. We must also engage with decision-makers in government and business to bring about positive change.
We believe that faith groups working together can be a vital ingredient in achieving climate justice.
We work to the principles outlined here. We are open to work with anyone who supports our principles.
Any faith-based organisation, NGO, congregation or community based in the UK with a remit and/or interest to tackle climate justice is welcome to contact us and appoint at least one representative with a climate policy or engagement brief to attend all-coalition meetings when they are called.
Members with the capacity and interest can also appoint one representative to sit on our steering group which meets regularly (see details above)
The Faiths for Climate Justice Advocacy Group especially welcomes members from under-represented sectors of British society, especially from Black, Asian and UK minority ethnic communities; people with disabilities; people who identify as being LGTBQ+; people who have a mental health condition; and people who identify as working class or have done so in the past.