Faiths urge governments to act on climate change

By agency reporter
November 17, 2016

Quakers in Britain, Friends World Committee for Consultation and Quaker United Nations Office are among the signatories to the COP22 Interfaith Climate Statement delivered to United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, at the UN climate change negotiations in Marrakesh.

The Statement calls on nations to justly manage the transition to a low carbon economy and urges governments to shift trillions of investments in fossil fuels into renewable energy, in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain welcomed the Statement, saying, “Quakers in Britain are committed to becoming a low-carbon sustainable community and have divested, as a national church, from companies involved in fossil fuel extraction. We recognise that we do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Our faith as Quakers is inseparable from our care for the health of our planet Earth. We see that our misuse of the Earth's resources creates inequality, destroys community, affects health and well-being, leads to war and erodes our integrity. We are all responsible for stewardship of our natural world. We love this world as God's gift to us all."

At an earlier Summit of Religious and Secular Leaders on Climate Change, Ban Ki-moon said the potential impact of the faith sector was enormous, describing them as the “third largest category of investor that can establish green religious buildings, invest ethically in sustainable products, and set an example for the lifestyles of billions of people, whose actions can encourage political leaders to act more boldly in protecting people and the planet." He went on to say that the world's faith and religious communities owned up to eight per cent of the world's habitable land and five per cent of commercial forests. The faith sector also contributes to more than half of the world's schools and, according to the Pew Research Center, offers moral and spiritual guidance to approximately 84 per cent of all people.

Signatories of the Statement include the Dalai Lama; Msgr. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences; Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches; Sayyid M. Syeed, Islamic Society of North America; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and more than 230 other faith leaders from around the globe. Other signatories include senior Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Episcopal, Baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, Indigenous and other spiritual leaders.

*Read the Statement here

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

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