Faith, Covid-19 & Climate Change

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 2-3pm

12:19 Q&A with Rabbi Jeffrey Newman (Extinction Rebellion Jews)

30:09 Q&A with Olivia Fuchs (EcoDharma)

46:33 Audience Q&A

Relevant links to items discussed:

The Climate Coalition’s Virtual Lobby is here (please sign up!):

Background on calls for an ecocide law:

Pope Francis on ecocide:

The Pivot Projects to ensure a just and green post-Covid-19 recovery:

The global Covid-19 pandemic has created grave uncertainties across the world. In response, governments have brought in extraordinary measures to curb the spread of the virus as well as the implementation of economic packages across the globe which has not been seen in our lifetimes.

The Covid-19 crisis has put environmental diplomacy on hold with the postponement of COP26 to 2021. Our conversation with Rabbi Jeff Newman and Olivia Fuchs will explore what the global health crisis means for the ongoing climate crisis. Do faith communities have the ability to continue tackling climate change? What can faith communities contribute to green, clean and more resilient rebuilding efforts post-Covid-19? How can we influence the actions of governments at different levels?

Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, Founder of Shema, a new Jewish cross-denominational climate action & justice, environmental and sustainability network. Emeritus Rabbi of Finchley Reform Synagogue, he is also very involved with Extinction Rebellion and author of an article on Jews, non-violence and civil disobedience in a forthcoming Penguin publication.

Olivia Fuchs has practiced Buddhism for over 30 years and is a local women’s leader for the Buddhist lay organisation Soka Gakkai International (SGI-UK). She is a research fellow for the Centre for Applied Buddhism and has an MA in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding.

Her particular interests are in the peacebuilding capacities of religions and how they can mobilise for social change and climate action. Since 2019 she has been the project coordinator for the Network of Buddhist Organisation’s Eco Dharma Network supported by Religions for Peace and FFTC. Professionally she works as a freelance opera and theatre director.

Kamran Shezad serves as Outreach Lead for Faith for the Climate and is a strong advocate of empowering communities to guide behavioural change to promote the message of environment and sustainability. He holds a master’s degree in Environmental Sustainability (Strategy & Management), is a chartered environmentalist, and a full member of the Institute for Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA).

Kamran holds the sustainability portfolio for the Bahu Trust and is Climate Change Advisor to the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB).