‘For the sake of generations to come’: Faith leaders unite on climate change

Faith leaders from across the religious divide have gathered in Sydney to call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to show moral leadership on climate change.

The joint press conference kicked off with Rabbi Johnathan Keren-Black blowing a ram’s horn to symbolise raising the alarm.

Environmental Advisor for the Council of Progressive Rabbis, Rabbi Keren-Black said the world is facing a “climate emergency”.

“We blow the horn to awake slumbers from their sleep and to sound the alarm, so we blow it to sound the alarm for the climate emergency, for the sake of the world, for the sake of generations to come,” he said.

“Judaism believes that we have a responsibility to be caretakers for God’s world, and we’re not doing a very good job of it at the moment.”

More than 150 religious leaders – including the heads of the Uniting Church in Australia, the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, Muslims Australia and the National Council of Churches – on Tuesday issued an open letter to Mr Morrison.

The letter calls on the Prime Minister to make addressing climate change his number one priority.

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) President Thea Ormerod described climate change as a moral issue that needs to be urgently addressed.

“We have an urgent challenge which we all share, a moral challenge. It’s not just a political issue or an economic issue, it’s also a moral issue and all of us are standing together with one voice today,” she said.

Under the banner of Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, the group is calling for a stop to new coal and gas projects, stopping Adani’s controversial coal mine in central Queensland and moving to 100 per cent renewable energy by the year 2030.

“Despite the differences in our faith, we all regard addressing the climate emergency as our shared moral challenge. We stand together for our common home, the Earth,” the letter says.

“Will you and your Government have the courage to agree to this simple threefold agenda? We pray that you will.”

Loreto Sister Libby Rogerson said there is a sacred responsibility to care for the earth and all living beings.

“We are concerned for the poorest and most vulnerable, and it is the poorest and most vulnerable of people and nations that are affected by Climate Change,” she said.

Federation of Australian Budhist Councils Spokesperson Gawaine Powell Davies also attended the press conference, and said climate change is driven by “human foolishness”.

“We have a very sharp analysis of human foolishness which has led us to put greed and short-term benefit ahead of the long-term interests of ourselves and our children, and our grandchildren,” Mr Powell Davies said.

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, along with senior Rabbis, bishops and theologians have also signed the letter.


Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black uses a rabbinical horn (shofar) to sound the end of the era of coal. Source: AAP

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