Around Australia and the whole world governments are spending vast amounts of money to stimulate the economy in the wake of COVID19. The sums of money that will be spent over the next few months are so large that highly reputable experts like the International Energy Agency are now saying that they will determine how the whole climate crisis plays out. This is because these investments will lock in infrastructure in either fossil fuels or a sustainable alternative depending on how the money is spent.
The danger is that these decisions could lock in greenhouse gas emissions at a level not even consistent with warming below 2°C, much less the currently more accepted guardrail of 1.5°C. In Australia, a major concern is the make-up of the National COVID Coordination Commission which is top-heavy with former gas industry executives and is not subject to the usual accountability rules. Government Ministers are making announcements consistent with a "gas-powered recovery".
Well-researched information on this issue is available on this ARRCC webpage, last up-dated on 27th August.
What faith communities can do
ARRCC is working closely with other organisations in the climate movement in Australia and other parts of the world to have the best shared strategy. We are not on our own. What we can add is a clear moral voice at a crucial moment. We can do this in the following ways.
Pressure on MPs
Over the coming months people around the country will be contacting their local MP to let them know we want a clean recovery. Lots of organisations are working on this. We can play our part as people of faith. The pressure is going onto both federal and state MPs since state Premiers are now also key decision makers in the National Cabinet.
Writing to your MP
This is where you can be an organiser. Can you think of a handful of people from your faith community who could be up for writing a letter to your MP? If each of us ask a few people to do this we can make a much bigger difference than if we just took action ourselves. Who do you know who might say Yes?
We’ve put together a handy guide to writing to your MP.
Organising a faith delegation to meet your MP
Your MP will really get the message if a group of people of faith meet with him or her in person. Here is our guide to organising a meeting with your MP.
What should we ask our MP to do?
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has a very clear plan for a clean economic recovery. Please ask your MP to agree to putting in place the ideas in this document.
Day of Action: Sacred People, Sacred Earth
New date: March 11, 2021
Join faith communities around the world for a huge new multi-faith event calling for bold and immediate action on the climate crisis. This will be the biggest-ever global faith-based Day of Action for the Climate, The theme of of the day is Sacred People, Sacred Earth.
This is now taking place on March 11, 2021.
Apologies for any inconvenience to those who have enthusiastically been promoting the original date.
Two things will be happening on March 11
A global multi-faith statement on the climate will be widely published, with names of high-level faith leader signatories as well as the support of tens of thousands of people of faith and spirit.
A Day of Action where places of worship and households of people of faith will sound the alarm for climate action and justice
Please see below for more information on each of these. First, however, we will be launching the campaign - very soon.
Campaign launch: Wednesday, November 18, 2020
The “Sacred People, Sacred Earth” Statement around which the Day of Action will be organised, calls for a post-COVID recovery that delivers justice to the most marginalised and solutions to the climate emergency.
At the TEDx event, we will colourfully and purposefully lay the foundations for the planned Day of Action on March 11, 2021.
|Sydney and Melbourne||7pm|
This will be one of six global TEDx events held in six locations around the world. See event details here.
Could you ask people of faith you know to come to this Global TEDx event for Oceania on November 18?
More details including how to register for this event will be posted on this page soon.
For a detailed timeline to prepare for March 11 and more about how you can help please see this document.
What's happening on March 11?
1. Global multi-faith statement on the climate
On March 11, the GreenFaith International (GFI) Network will publicise a multi faith statement calling for a recovery from COVID which will help create a more just world order while tackling the climate crisis. This will be signed by high-profile leaders of a wide range of faiths and we will soon be asking for you to sign this too. By March 11 we aim to have the signatures of tens of thousands of religious leaders and individual people of faith and spirit.
GFI will then call for a “Year of Action” in the lead-up to the next round of crucial international climate negotiations (known as COP26) which will be held in Glasgow in November 2021. People of faith around the world will press urgently at the national and international levels for a compassionate, just response to COVID-19 and the climate emergency.
2. Places of worship worldwide call for climate justice
In support of the statement and to draw attention to it, places of worship around the world are being asked to ‘sound the alarm’ for the climate and call for climate justice as we try to get our economies going in the wake of COVID.
Each place of worship will choose its own way to do this: by ringing its bells, by sounding a note on the shofar, calling the Azan, by chanting and by meditating. Just as long as make a noise - or even some thunderous silence! We each have our own traditions, but we will be united in one clear message.
Every place of worship on Earth is invited to join in. Households of people of faith can join in too.
Please hold your action at 12 noon at your local time on March 11.
If that time doesn’t suit you, no problem. Holding it at any time on the day will be fine.
Who is involved?
A global, multi-faith coalition called GreenFaith International is organising thousands of faith communities to take part in this global Day of Action. This action is being held in at least 14 countries including Brazil, Kenya, Chile, Germany, UK, Indonesia, India, Uganda, Nigeria and the Southern African region. So your local actions as part of this will be part of something huge.
These two combined actions will form the basis of the public launch of a new international multi-faith network for climate action called GreenFaith International.
How to get involved
Please complete the form below.
We will be in touch in the coming days with a complete information pack outlining:
- How to make this really take off on social media
- How to get local media attention
(We will of course be getting the national media interested, and we have help from our partners in getting global media too)
- How to take a great short video of your action and where to upload it.