Today, the converging scientific consensus makes clear that the collective impact of human life is profoundly altering the earth’s ecosystem and, in turn, imperiling the intricate web of life supported by it. We are bearing witness to climate change in extreme and erratic weather events, the melting of polar ice caps and rising sea levels. Religions for Peace General Secretary William F Vendley gives account of initiatives by RfP Worldwide in meeting the Challenge of Climate Change.
Esteemed Colleague in Religions for Peace:
For Religions for Peace, taking action to protect the Earth and its climate is for each believer-in accordance with her or his faith tradition-a serious religious obligation. Today, I am very pleased to report to you that we can see more and more religious leaders using the teachings of their respective traditions to mobilize their believers for action.
One of the deeply encouraging qualities of these many religious calls for action is their positive multi-religious spirit. Today, leaders of so many diverse religions are calling their respective believers to cooperate with the believers of other religious traditions to take action to protect the earth.
Recently Religions for Peace collaborated with the Vatican Pontifical Academy of Science/Social Sciences and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network to host a remarkable gathering of scientists, religious representatives, heads of states and the United Nations Secretary General. Your esteemed Religions for Peace colleagues were vital contributors to this important meeting. You will find a press report on this meeting attached. While this press report understandably focuses on Pope Francis, a central feature of it deals with the great importance for collaboration among the world’s diverse faiths. Your colleagues in Religions for Peace were outstanding participants in this important gathering.
Religions for Peace will soon launch its “Faiths for Earth” campaign. The campaign will invite religious believers around the world to make concrete commitments-based on their own faith tradition-to take action to protect our shared home.
You would also appreciate, I felt, an encouraging article written by Religions for Peace International Trustee Professor Dr. Jeffrey Sachs. In that article, Professor Sachs reports on the recent agreement of the G7 states to decarbonize their energy systems by the end of this century. The fact that the G7 states are now openly committing to great change is an important sign. The frank admission that we have to change course is itself an important step, although many additional hard steps await us.
Let me urge that each of us re-doubles his or her commitment to use faith as source of inspiration, strength and commitment to collaborate.
Yours in Peace,
Dr. William F. Vendley
RELIGIONS FOR PEACE-the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition-advances common action among the world’s religious communities for peace. Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth. The global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; six regional inter-religious bodies and more than eighty national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network.
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