Faith groups urge leaders to keep promise of a better climate for a safer planet

Intro

As world leaders prepare to sign the landmark Paris agreement this week, 250 faith leaders are also underscoring the moral imperatives of acting on climate change. In an Interfaith Climate Change Statement, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Muslim signatories are urging world leaders to quickly curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 while aiming to keep a 1.5DegC warming threshold within reach. The statement was delivered to the UN’s President of the General Assembly as the organization prepares to host representatives from over 155 nations – including 40 heads of state – who will sign the Paris Agreement on Earth Day. With faith groups fighting to protect people and the planet – especially the most vulnerable suffering from the harshest climate impacts – it will be up to governmental leaders to do the same by keeping their word and swiftly implementing an accelerated energy transition that curbs emissions and rising temperatures.

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Key Points

  • Acting for the climate is a moral imperative. From the Pope’s climate-focused encyclical, to the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, some of the world’s most influential moral voices are using their platform to highlight the urgency of climate change. By adding their perspectives to the global call for climate action, the case for protecting people and the planet is stronger, and more diverse than ever.
  • Climate change hurts vulnerable communities the hardest. Fossil fuels are costing communities billions of dollars in health expenses, while extreme weather has devastated many coastal nations. Faith groups recognize that the poor and vulnerable suffer from the harshest impacts, and if emissions and temperatures continue rising, the consequences will only be exacerbated.
  • Everyone agrees: acting on climate is both morally and economically right. Faith groups are joining the chorus of  local communities, business leaders, major investors and leading scientists around the world who are already driving the transition to a low-carbon, climate-safe future, and calling on their leaders to follow in their footsteps. As governments prepare to usher in an era free of fossil fuels, they can either stand back, or accelerate the transition to reap the benefits of for a safe and prosperous future for all.

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Quotes

  • “Humanity is at a crucial turning point […] We as faith communities recognize that we must begin a transition away from polluting fossil fuels and towards clean renewable energy source.” – Interfaith Climate Statement

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