SCOTTISH AND UK RELIGIOUS LEADERS HAVE SIGNED a declaration urging governments to take transformational climate action at the COP26 in November.
More than 50 religious leaders signed the Glasgow Multi-Faith Declaration which calls for those in power to put the 2015 Paris Agreement into effect. The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted by the 196 attending parties at the COP21.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Senior Rabbi of Scotland, the Chief Imam of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society and the Bishop of Norwich are among the signatories.
The Declaration, which is being made during Climate Fringe Week, stresses that urgent action is needed to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change. Religious leaders are asking for a transition to a just and green economy and for governments to commit to science-based targets aligned with a zero-emissions future.
The Declaration follows on from the 2015 interfaith Lambeth Declaration and the Scottish Religious Leaders’ Forum Statement of Commitment of 2020.
Interfaith Scotland, Imam Razawi, and the Church of Scotland were instrumental in gathering signatories from faith communities including Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian.
Dr Maureen Sier, Director of Interfaith Scotland, said: “Across our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change our ways to ensure a quality of life which all can share, and we need to provide hope for people of all ages, everywhere, including future generations. To offer hope in the world we need to have confidence that those in power understand the vital role they have to play at the Glasgow COP26.
Lord Jim Wallace of Tankerness, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “Our faith communities are united in caring for human life and the natural world. We share a belief in a hopeful future, as well as an obligation to be responsible in caring for our common home, the Earth.
“We recognise the opportunities that COP26 brings in addressing the urgent need for action in limiting the effects of climate change and the critical importance of decisions made in this conference to take forward the agreement made in Paris in 2015.”
“Our collective energy and prayers will be with those working for a successful outcome.”
Rabbi Moshe Rubin, Senior Rabbi of Scotland, said: “We remind governments of their commitments made in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and of Article 17 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights to protect the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. We call upon them to take the urgent action needed to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change.
“We look to governments to work together and with others to create a positive vision for 2050 where addressing climate change is not just an opportunity to stop burning fossil fuels, but also:to achieve cleaner air and water; to reduce food wastage; to ensure a just and equitable sharing of the earth’s resources; and to protect the habitats we share with all other life on whose health we also depend.”
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Advisor for Sikhs in Scotland, said: “People have exploited the planet, causing climate change. We recognise that the burden of loss and damage falls most heavily on people living in poverty, especially women and children.
“We acknowledge the commitments made through the Lambeth Declaration in 2015. Now, because of the gravity of our situation, the impact of climate change around the world, and the inequality of its effects we seek to strengthen those commitments.”
Imam Sayed Razawi, Chief Imam and Director General of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, said: “We commit to respond to this challenge by: Reflecting deeply in prayer, meditation and worship to discern how to care for the earth and each other, and to encourage our respective communities to do the same. Making transformational change in our own lives and in the lives of our communities through individual and collective action. Being advocates for justice by calling on governments, businesses and others who exercise power and influence to put into effect the Paris agreement; to make the transition to a just and green economy a priority; and to commit to science-based targets that are aligned with a healthy, resilient, zero-emissions future.”
* Source: Church of Scotland