Climate action and sustainable consumption can be a great point of convergence among different religions

The generation of a climate culture could create an opportunity for conversation among religions. This was one of the main conclusions taken from the online round table held on 19 May, which was organised by several members of the consolidated research group Sustainability and Comprehensive Education (SEI) at UIC Barcelona.

The research project entitled Do the religious communities present in Catalonia participate in climate culture? is being funded by the Department of Justice, which awards grants for research projects in the field of religious diversity (RELIG 2018).
The online meeting was held to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the publication of Laudato si' and was attended by three experts from different universities, all members of the research project, who laid out the research’s objectives and methodology and explained how twelve religions in Catalonia are contributing to climate action.
The discussion was moderated by Rosa María López Ros, head of Education, Research and Assessment for the Government of Catalonia's General Directorate for Religious Affairs (DGAR). She initiated the round table by introducing the project in question and then passed the floor to Dr Sílvia Albareda, the research project’s coordinator, lecturer at the Faculty of Education and director of the UIC Office for Cooperation and Sustainable Development.
Dr Albareda began by explaining the study’s objectives, which are “to analyse what religious communities in Catalonia are doing in terms of climate action and promoting sustainable consumption” and also “to discover the motivations in sacred texts and the morals of different religions that could help promote this climate culture”.
In this same vein, Dr Emilio Chuvieco, full professor of Geography, director of the Environmental Ethics Chair at the University of Alcalá (UAH) and member of the research project, explained that the study’s methodology had been carried out among interreligious focus groups in which representatives from 12 different religions took part.
To this, full professor of State Ecclesiastical Law from the University of Barcelona (UB) and fellow member of the research project, Dr  Francisca Pérez, added that the focus groups “generated an enriching dialogue among the different religions” and that the research aims to publish an interreligious guide on good practices for climate culture.
The group leading the round table was joined by a total of 87 attendees who were given the chance to ask questions via a virtual chat.