On April 18, at a multi-faith ceremony with Buddhist chants, Zoroastrian prayers, and Sikh drumming at the Church Center for the United Nations, Ambassador Mogens Lykketoft, president of the UN General Assembly, received the Interfaith Climate Change Statement to World Leaders signed by 270 high-level religious leaders, 4970 individuals and 176 religious groups from around the world. The statement is a call to action from the world's faiths.
Read the statement here.
The Interfaith Climate Change Statement to World Leaders (2016) outlines religious leaders and faith communities' positive judgement of the adopted Paris Agreement and urges for its prompt signature and ratification by governments so that it can come into force as soon as possible. It also insists that there is a significant increase in the current levels of ambition relating to emission reductions, financial flows, adaptation, loss and damage and a swift phase out of fossil fuel subsidies - so as to keep temperatures within reach of 1.5C.
The statement also serves to renew the strong commitment of the faith community to remain active in defining the moral responsibility to care for the Earth and encourages it own communities to reduce emissions and to divest and reinvest in renewables.
Six Key Points within the Interfaith Climate Change Statement:
- Urge governments to rapidly sign, ratify and implement the Paris Agreement, and to increase pledges to reduce emissions in line with keeping the global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels;
- Insist on rapid emissions reduction and peaking by 2020, in order to keep the 1.5C goal within reach;
- Strongly advocate for greater flows of finance, especially for adaptation and loss and damage;
- Urge the swift phase out of all fossil fuel subsidies and a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050;
- Encourage faith communities to reduce emissions in their homes, workplaces and centres of worship and to support and stand in solidarity with communities already impacted by climate change; and
- Call for fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in renewables and low carbon solutions, including within our own communities, and/or by engaging companies on climate change.
Collaborating organizations in developing and disseminating the statement and inviting signatures from faith leaders are: ACT Alliance, Bhumi Project, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Catholic Earthcare Australia, Eco-Sikh, the Elijah Interfaith Institute, Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective, Global Catholic Climate Movement, GreenFaith, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Lutheran World Federation, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhists, United Religions Initiative and World Council of Churches. Further information at www.interfaithstatement2016.org