Australian news, and some related international items

Interfaith Climate Statement presented by world religious leaders at UN climate talks

logo Paris climate1World religious leaders present joint statement to UN climate talks
At the UN climate talks on Wednesday, a senior member of the UN Secretary General’s Climate Change Support Team received the COP22 Interfaith Climate Statement, signed by more than 230 eminent religious leaders from 44 countries. The Statement called on nations to justly manage the transition to a low carbon economy and urged for governments to shift trillions of investments in fossil fuels into renewable energy, in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs).The Statement is consistent with the Secretary General’s continued strong call for redirecting investments into clean energy, including clean energy access. “As a means to speed up the transition to a low carbon economy,” the Secretary General told 500 global investors at the 2016 Investor Summit on Climate Risk, “Markets now have the clear signal they need to unleash the full force of human ingenuity and scale up investments that can generate low-emissions resilient growth.”

The Statement was drafted and distributed in collaboration with more than thirty faith groups globally. Signatories of the Statement include His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Msgr. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences; Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches; Sayyid M. Syeed, Islamic Society of North America; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and over 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.

At the 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 percent of the world’s habitable land and five percent 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 percent of all people.

The interfaith delegation that handed over the Statement included ISNA representative Imam Saffet Catovic; Sister Jayanti, European Director of Brahma
Kumaris World Spiritual University; Ciara Shannon, a co-founder of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and the Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith, who said “We are honoured that the UN Secretary General has received the COP22 Faith Statement. This is an important milestone to advance engagement by high-level faith leaders around the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development goals. It is important to highlight that faith communities globally are united in their concern to respond to the climate crisis, to care for the most vulnerable and we are committed to bring distributed, renewable energy to the 1.1 billion people globally who lack access to electricity by 2030.”

Read the COP22 Interfaith Climate Statement here:

In support of the Statement and marking the world’s first public divestment announcement from a Muslim institution, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in a major announcement on 10 November committed to divest from fossil fuels and encouraged its two constituent organizations and five national affiliated institutions to do so as well. See:


November 19, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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