Statements By Faith Leaders

Australian religions

ARRCC has assembled a collection of statements by faith leaders in Australia and overseas, demonstrating the links between the beliefs of the world's major religions, and action on climate change. To read these statements, click on the links in the column on the right.

Media Release (excerpt): Faith communities worldwide sound the alarm on climate, 11 March 2021

Over one hundred local faith communities across Australia from diverse traditions will hold events today as part of a major global multi faith Day of Action to ‘sound the alarm’ for the climate.  Across 40 countries, religious organisations representing 100 million members are holding actions to ‘sound the alarm’ at the yawning gap between what is required to limit global temperature rise and actual commitments by governments and financial institutions.

Churches will ring their Bells, Rabbis will sound the shofar, Imams will call the Azan and some groups will hold silent Vigils to draw attention to a series of calls on Prime Minister Scott Morrison for climate justice. 

There will also be multi-faith Vigils outside the offices of the Prime Minister, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Warren Entsch.

The Day of Action is in support of a “Sacred People, Sacred Earth” Statement signed by very prominent religious leaders including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Vatican Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Turkson. 

There are also high-profile Australian signatories including Bishop Philip Huggins, President of the National Council of Churches, and Bishop Vincent Long of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. The Statement has been signed by over 200 faith leaders and thousands of people from a very wide range of faiths.

The signatories seek net zero emissions for wealthy countries by 2030, a leap ahead of net zero by 2050. The Statement also calls for economic recovery money to be spent on renewables rather than fossil fuels, and that governments “must not perpetuate an outdated economic system that relies on fossil fuels and the destruction of the very forests, waters, oceans and soils that make life possible.”

Australian signatories are calling on Scott Morrison’s Government to submit higher emissions reduction targets that are in line with a net zero target by 2030 this year in the lead-up to the crucial COP26 negotiations in Glasgow. Instead of a “gas-led recovery”, they want post-COVID recovery spending to be on low carbon jobs, and for finance to be provided to the UN Green Climate Fund for developing countries. 

In Australia, the lead organisation is the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), which is part of GreenFaith International. 

To sign the statement, go to Sign on to Sacred People, Sacred Earth! (actionnetwork.org) The full versions of the statement can be accessed by clicking the link to the translation in your language (in red) at the top of the page, eg, 'English', 'Arabic'.


Media Release: Faith institutions call for a just recovery by divesting from fossil fuels, 18 May, 2020
Bailouts and recovery packages must not empower polluters

As major challenges for the global economy are predicted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a diverse group of faith institutions is putting the call for a just economic recovery into practice. This media release says why 42 faith institutions from 14 countries announced their divestment from fossil fuels on May 18, 2020. This is the largest-ever joint announcement of divestment from fossil fuels from faith institutions. It comes from institutions in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Myanmar, Spain, the UK, and the United States.

As governments around the world make substantial investments in an economic recovery, faith communities urge them to think long term and focus on a recovery that is low-carbon and just. 



Faith leaders urge PM to show moral leadership on climate, Australia, Feb 2020

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. https://www.arrcc.org.au/letter

Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change for COP25, Madrid, 2019

Faith Communities demand Climate Justice

#NoFaithInCoal open letter, Australia, June 2019

More than 150 religious leaders from across Australia have issued an open letter calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to recognise Australia’s moral responsibility to avoid climate catastrophe and halt all new coal and gas projects. The letter was organised by ARRCC.

L to R: Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Thea Ormerod, Gawaine Powell Davies, Ahmed Abdo, Sr Libby Rogerson ibvm

Religious Declaration of Unprecedented Human Emergency

National Religious Coalition on Creation Care, May 2019

Parliament of the World’s Religions - COP24, Luknow

A Parliament of the World’s Religions Letter Urging Nations to Reaffirm Climate Commitments to the Leaders of COP24
November 20, 2018

Statement from Jubilee Caribbean

Statement from Jubilee Caribbean, March 5, 2018
Read the statement here.

Walk on Earth Gently 2017

During the 23rd Conference of Parties climate (COP23) negotiations in 2017, an Interfaith Statement was published, “Walk on Earth Gently”. While it recognised the continuing importance of systemic change, it was an invitation to reduce our personal impact on the earth by reducing emissions from transport, food waste and home energy use, and by adopting a plant-based diet. 

The Statement became the foundation for the current Living the Change initiative.

Statements on Paris climate talks, 2015

Indigenous Elders and Medicine Peoples Council Statement, United Nations Convention on Climate Change
COP21 Paris, France, November 30 - December 11, 2015


Multi-Faith Peace Mandala

Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders, issued on October 20th, on the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 in Paris in December 2015

Religious Leaders' Open Letter 

ARRCC's Religious Leader Ambassadors have released a number of Open Letters on Climate Change, addressed to our political leaders and to the Australian Public.

The video clip below features a part of the letter originally composed in the lead-up to the 2013 Federal elections. These letters stand as evidence of the united stance of people of faith on climate change.

A Common Belief

A Common Belief, a collection of statements from representatives of all major religions in Australia, compiled by The Climate Institute.

Common Belief includes statements for: Aboriginal people, Anglicans, The Australian Christian Lobby, Baha'i believers, Baptists, Buddhists, Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Greek Orthodox, Hindus, Jewish People, Lutherans, Muslims, the Salvation Army, Sikhs and the Uniting Church.