Faith leaders urge PM to show moral leadership on climate

Senior leaders from faith communities with over 10 million members across Australia have urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to show leadership after Australia’s devastating summer by committing to stronger climate action and urgently scaling up the adoption of alternatives to coal, oil and gas. 

In an open letter, leaders from Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and other faiths urged the Prime Minister to heed climate science, which shows all countries have to achieve deep, rapid cuts to greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. 

Pictured from left: Thea Ormerod ( Chair, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change); Ghaith Krayem (CEO, Muslims Australia); The Most Venerable Sujato Bikkhu (Buddhist monk); and Wies Schuiringa (vice president, NSW Ecumenical Council & Co-Clerk, Quakers NSW)

20 FEBRUARY 2020

“This summer’s unprecedented bushfires, air pollution, hail, flooding, and drought have been exacerbated by climate change. These climate-fuelled events have taken innocent lives and damaged God’s Creation,” said The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt, Dean of St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Brisbane. 

“Our earth is a gift from God, and it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to protect this precious Gift for the sake of generations to come. The School Strikes for Climate show that today’s children and grandchildren are righteously angry about the ecological crisis they are inheriting. We owe it to them to create a safer future.” 

“As this country’s highest elected official and a man of faith, the Prime Minister has a moral duty to look after God’s creation, and the millions of lives that are at risk from worsening climate impacts,” said Dr Catt. 

Religious leaders also called on the Prime Minister to deliver a plan to support the Australian economy’s transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy, without leaving a single worker behind.

Reverend Dr Ray Williamson OAM, President of the New South Wales Ecumenical Council, said: “Just as our religious beliefs are deeply rooted in scripture, our response to the climate crisis must be deeply rooted in the wisdom offered by science.” 

“The fact is, we cannot burn fossil fuels at the current rate if we are to be good stewards of this planet. Experts also tell us that a combination of renewable energy and storage technology can power the world affordably and reliably.”

“The Prime Minister and his government should show moral leadership and plan for the measures that will keep people safe from worsening extreme weather, economic uncertainty, and deadly climate impacts,” said Dr Williamson.

The letter is available at http://www.arrcc.org.au/letter