SOCIAL MEDIA

Thank you for joining us in our social media campaign to promote the #COP22FaithStatement and our Nov 10 event.

Please click here to read the full social media comms pack which provides lots of useful information to do social media for the #COP22FaithStatement.

Feel free to use any of the hashtags below, sample tweets and memes in your social media for the #COP22FaithStatement

Hashtags to Use

  • Please note that our main hashtag is #COP22FaithStatement (which we ask you to include in the body of your text)
  • Our other main hashtags are #Faiths4DivestInvest #Faiths4ClimateAction – (which we have used before)
  • We will always include #COP22 (so it gets picked up by the global COP22 hashtag)

1. To Promote #COP22FaithStatement 

Twitter: Sample tweets include: You choose

  • Sign#COP22FaithStatement to ​call 4 URGENT #ClimateAction http://bit.ly/2ecawmo #Faiths4DivestInvest​ ​#COP22 (add in meme)
  • Faith leaders call 4 #governments 2 #divestinvest. Sign #COP22FaithStatement http://bit.ly/2ecawmo #Faiths4ClimateAction #COP22   (add in meme)

Facebook: Sample Facebook Posts: You choose

  • All of us, all over the world, are already experiencing the early stages of climate change in some form or other. Confronting this crisis is the great moral imperative of our time. It requires urgent, transformative action to slow (and hopefully reverse) the acceleration of global warming that is now underway. Together, we can make a difference! SIGN the #COP22FaithStatement and SPREAD THE WORD. http://bit.ly/2ecawmo.  #Faiths4ClimateAction #COP22 #ClimateAction
  • Global warming and climate change threatens life as we know it. We don’t have to sit around and watch this happen. Together, we can call for transformative action. How? SIGN the COP 22 Interfaith Climate Statement and SPREAD THE WORD. http://bit.ly/2ecawmo.
    #COP22FaithStatement #Faiths4ClimateAction #COP22 #ClimateAction

2. To Promote Registration to our Event on Nov 10 – Twitter

  • Join #COP22FaithStatement #DivestInvestEventNOV10 #COP22 REGISTER http://bit.ly/2e8eSYQ  (add in ‘join our event’ meme)

3. The Event as it Happens – Twitter

  • BREAKING: #COP22FaithStatement delivered @ #COP22 #DivestInvestEventNOV10 http://bit.ly/2ecawmo #Faiths4ClimateAction #Faiths4DivestInvest  ​(add in photo)

 

 

 

 

COP 22 Interfaith Climate Statement

We invite all people of faith and goodwill to sign the COP22 Statement

Your name will be shown on this website and the total number will be mentioned in the official handover event on 10 November 2016 at COP22. Your name will get counted along with eminent religious, spiritual and indigenous leaders and recognised faith-based climate change leaders – whose names will appear directly under the official Statement.

Click below to show your support.

Who’s signing

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
829 signatures

Please sign

At this historic moment, as the Paris Agreement enters into force,  an unprecedented global consensus has produced a universal framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to build greater resilience to climate impacts. We are profoundly grateful for the leadership that produced this agreement. We are also mindful of the challenges and  complexity that lie ahead.

The Statement also emphasises, that across all faiths we share a moral obligation to not harm others, to be fair and to care for the vulnerable.

Global society’s continued use of fossil fuels and other extractive industries, while knowing the damage they cause, is ethically untenable. We must deliberately turn away from investing in fossil fuels and we stand together, to call for a collective shift by sovereign wealth funds and public sector pension funds from fossil fuels  towards climate solutions. This will send a necessary and transformative signal to public and private borrowers and investors worldwide and will help end the fossil fuel era.

We must commit to new ways of living that honor the dynamic relationships between all forms of life to deepen awareness and the spiritual dimension of our lives. We appeal to all people living today to draw on courage, hope, wisdom and spiritual reflection to enable our young and future generations to inherit a more caring and sustainable world. This is the time to step forward  and act as trustees to Mother Earth. Together, by supporting each other’s progress we can go further and faster.

  Key Policy Points – COP22 Statement:

  • Urgently ask States to rapidly increase pledges to reduce emissions, in line with the 1.5°C goal;
  • Call for a collective shift by sovereign wealth funds and public sector pension funds away from fossil fuels into renewables and other climate solutions;
  • Strongly request an increase in global financial flows to end energy poverty with renewable energy and to provide for greater human and ecological adaptation, particularly to compensate for loss and damage, technology transfer and capacity building;
  • Appeal to all States, when taking action to address climate change, to ensure the commitments contained in the preamble of the Agreement related to human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, a just transition, food security, intergenerational equity and the integrity of all ecosystems are effectively reflected in any decision adopted at the COP22;
  • Request stricter controls on the dispute mechanisms within trade agreements that utilize extrajudicial tribunals to challenge government policies;
  • Ask, including within our own faith communities, for more commitments to divest -invest from fossil fuels into renewable energy and targeted engagement with companies on climate change. We need to ground this work in pursuing a just transition to renewable energy.

INTERFAITH CLIMATE CHANGE STATEMENT TO WORLD LEADERS

STATEMENT BY RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL LEADERS ON THE OCCASION OF THE UN SECRETARY GENERAL’S HIGH LEVEL SIGNATURE CEREMONY FOR THE PARIS AGREEMENT

Ahead of the Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters on 22nd April 2016, as religious and spiritual leaders, we stand together to urge all Heads of State to promptly sign and ratify the Paris Agreement.

Caring for the Earth is our shared responsibility. Each one of us has a “moral responsibility to act,” as so powerfully stated by the Pope’s Encyclical and in the climate change statements by Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and other faith leaders [1]. The planet has already passed safe levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Unless these levels are rapidly reduced, we risk creating irreversible impacts putting hundreds of millions of lives, of all species, at severe risk. The challenges ahead require honesty and courage and we all must take action to reduce emissions.

Humanity is at a crucial turning point. We as faith communities recognize that we must begin a transition away from polluting fossil fuels and towards clean renewable energy sources. It is clear that for many people significant lifestyle changes will have to be made. We must strive for alternatives to the culture of consumerism that is so destructive to ourselves and to our planet.

The unprecedented consensus resulting in the adoption of the Paris Agreement, welcomed by faith communities the world over, has opened up a new path towards a low-carbon, climate resilient transformation of the global economy. The global collaboration by all nations is proof that our shared values are far greater than any differences that divide us. It demonstrates that the sense of collective responsibility shared by all nations and society is far more powerful than the recklessness and greed of the few.

We are united in our support for the full and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and of all other decisions adopted at COP 21. To achieve the 1.5C goal, governments must accelerate climate action before 2020 and also greatly increase the level of ambition of the future Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs), rapidly converting them into national policies, law and programmes. These commitments must be defined by increasing ambition outlined in national road-maps on how to transform our societies and economies by 2050 and clearly integrated into national development plans. We recognise the importance of peaking of global emissions by 2020, rapid phasing out of all fossil fuel subsidies and a transition to 100 per cent renewable energies by 2050. Finally, we note that more progress on the scaling up of finance, particularly for adaptation and loss and damage, is required so as to help vulnerable countries better prepare for climate impacts and to help us all in our transformation to a safe, zero carbon future.

Climate change presents our global family with the opportunity to embark on a path of spiritual renewal defined by deeper awareness and greater ecological action. Every act to protect and care for all beings connects us to one another, deepening the spiritual dimension of our lives. We must reflect on the true nature of our interrelationship to the Earth. It is not a resource for us to exploit at our will. It is a sacred inheritance and a precious home which we must protect. United with the shared hope that arises from faith, we the undersigned believe that the means, desire, and will to care for Earth and all life can and will become action as our political leaders ratify the promises made in Paris – and thus safeguard the greater promises of this generation and of all those to come.

We therefore:

  • Urge governments to rapidly sign, ratify and implement the Paris Agreement, and to increase pledges to reduce emissions in line with keeping the global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels;

  • Insist on rapid emissions reduction and peaking by 2020, in order to keep the 1.5C limit within reach;

  • Strongly advocate the greater flows of finance, especially for adaptation and loss and damage;

  • Urge the swift phase out of all fossil fuel subsidies and transition from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy by 2050;

  • Encourage faith communities to reduce emissions in their homes, workplaces and centres of worship and to support and stand in solidarity with communities already impacted by climate change;

  • Call for fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in renewables and low carbon solutions, including within our own communities, and/or by engaging companies on climate change.

Download Full Statement PDF here

For the full list of high level signatures, click here

See a Simplified Chinese translation here and Traditional Chinese here

See a French translation here

See a Hindi translation here

See the Italian translation here

See a Spanish translation here


1] Key recent faith statements on climate change include: Sikh Statement on Climate Change, September 18th, 2014 www.arcworld.org/downloads/Sikh-Statement-on-Climate-Change.pdf), Interfaith Summit Statement, September 21st 2014 (www.interfaithclimate.org), Lambeth Declaration 2015 on Climate Change, June 16th 2015 (www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/06/archbishop-of-canterbury-join-faith-leaders-in-call-for-urgent-action-to-tackle-climate-change.aspx), Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, June 18th 2015 (www.w2.vatican.va), the Islamic Climate Change Declaration, August 18th 2015 (www.islamicclimatedeclaration.org), the Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders, October 20th 2015 (http://actalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/COP21_Statement_englisch2.pdf), the Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders, October 29th 2015 (www.gbccc.org) and the Hindu Declaration on Climate Change, November 23th 2015 (www.bhumiproject.org)

MEDIA

ENQUIRIES
For any questions, interviews with statement signers or other press enquiries please email Vanya Walker-Leigh, GreenFaith’s Senior Policy and Press Adviser: pressandpolicy@greenfaith.org or Ciara Shannon, Interfaith Statement Coordinator ciarashannon.hk@gmail.com

MEDIA ADVISORY – PRE EVENT
See media advisory issued on April 13th here

See release issued on April 17th here

PRESS RELEASE – APRIL 18TH
See here

See here French translation

PHOTOS

Interfaith Climate Change Statement to World Leaders was handed over by a young faith leader, surrounded by faith leaders to H.E. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly at the UN Church Centre, April 18th 2016. Credit. Paul Hunt/ WCC

Click below on the flic.kr link or here for more photos, free for use with credit to Paul Hunt/ WCC and Alex Price/ GreenFaith

SOCIAL MEDIA
#Faiths4ParisAgreement (this is our main hashtag) Statement calls nations to quickly Paris Agreement – ADD YOUR NAME: http://ow.ly/ZGiT1

Please use any of the below images.

9. WHAT IS THE FAITH WORLD DOING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE?

1) Advocacy

In the last couple of years, faith based organisations have played a critical role in contributing to civil society’s momentum in urging for action on climate change. The importance of faith-based organizations taking a prominent leadership role in influencing policy has become clearer and there has been a noticeable increase in the number of religions at the local, national and international levels addressing climate change as a moral issue, in particular to show solidarity to those most vulnerable. At the international level, there is an Interfaith Liaison Committee with the UNFCCC Secretariat.

At the same time, more governments and the UN are recognising the importance of engaging with religious and faith based organizations in addressing climate change, as they are connected to the grassroots, as well as to leaders.

Listen to a news clipping that highlights the Pope’s encyclical and reactions from people like Naomi Klein.

Learn more about the positive impact that faith based organisation are contributing to, as explained by Sister Jayanti of Brahma Kumaris.

– Statements

Almost every religion has issued a climate change statement.

Key recent (2014-2015), faith statements on climate change include:

The Earth as Witness: International Dharma Teachers’ Statement on Climate Change, 8th January 2014
Falling in Love with the Earth: Thich Nhat Hanh’s Statement on Climate Change for the United Nations, 2nd July 2014
Sikh Statement on Climate Change, 18th September, 2014
Interfaith Summit Statement, 21st September 2014
Catholic Bishops’ Statement in Lima on the Road to Paris, 9th December 2014
Lambeth Declaration 2015 on Climate Change, 16th June 2015
Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, 18th June 2015
The Islamic Climate Change Declaration, 18th August 2015,
The Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders, 20th October 2015
Appeal to COP 21 Negotiating Parties (Presidents of regional Catholic Bishops´ Conferences), 26th October 2015
The Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders, 29th October 2015
The Hindu Declaration on Climate Change, 23rd November 2015
A more detailed list can be found here.

– Climate Change Petitions

In addition to Statements, last year over 1.8 million people worldwide put their names to a collection of faith-based petitions urging political leaders at the COP21 climate summit to take decisive action to curb global warming and deliver a strong, fair deal that helps poor countries adapt to their changing climate. The petitions were presented to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and President Hollande on 28th November and 10th December 2015, respectively. See more information here

The interfaith delegation with President Hollande. Credit: Sean Hawkey/WCC – See more at: http://catholicclimatemovement.global/president-hollande-meeting/#sthash.uBCybhTF.dpuf

The Interfaith delegation with President Hollande, 10th December 2015. Credit: Sean Hawkey/WCC

2) Climate Justice Pilgrimages: In 2015, there was 431 faith led pilgrimages for climate justice in Asia, Africa, Europe and USA. Collectively, pilgrims walked hundreds of thousands of miles to raise awareness on the impacts of climate and to urge world leaders to produce a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, December 2015. Click here to see a video of a very catchy and uplifting climate pilgrimage song, Tayo Tayo.

ii) Expeditions

Message for Earth Day, 2016

An expedition of Argentinian explorers (led by Fundación Criteria) is marching towards the North Pole carrying a Laudato Si’ encyclical and a Global Catholic Climate Movement banner calling on world leaders to “PROTECT OUR CLIMATE & OUR COMMON HOME”. – See more here

3) Prayers, Vigils and Expeditions: In monasteries, churches, mosques, Guadwara and temples, on streets and town halls, hundreds of candle-lit vigils took place around the world in 2015, demonstrating a display of hope and compassion for the future of our planet. See more information here

Candle light vigil – Philippines January 2015

Candle light vigil – Philippines January 2015. Credit: Globalissues.org

Prayers

We all come from different faiths, but we breathe the same air, we share the same trees and we live on the same earth with all species.

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for Creation, February 2016: “That we take good care of Creation, a gift freely given, cultivating and protecting for future generations.” See video here.

Click here to read a Du’a written by Imam Zaid Shakir – Co-founder of Zaytuna College

Click here to read Interfaith Prayers for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Click here and see below Sea Prayers with the theme of ‘Raise Your Voice Not the Sea-Level’

4) Fasts for the Climate: Fasting has been part of faith traditions and justice movements from the Hebrew prophets to leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi and Cesar Chavez. In 2015, thousands of people from around the world fasted either once a month, or during Lent to stand in solidarity with those already affected by climate change and to tell world leaders that they need to do more to solve the climate crisis. See more here and here.

5) Capacity Building – Training and Education

Education on climate change not only informs us about the science, the risks and impacts of climate change, but protecting the planet is a moral and ethical imperative and taking action can help us improve the world around us and protect the most vulnerable. We all need to reduce our GHG emissions, the use of plastic and paper, water consumption, consumption in general, use more public transport, plant trees, turn off unnecessary lights and put profit before good.

Many faith group organise conferences, workshops, seminars and webinars to help raise awareness on climate change and identify priority actions on climate change for which faith communities can engage in.

6) Interfaith Collaboration

The importance of collaboration among religious groups in addressing challenges of climate change is vital and the adopted Paris agreement creates a wonderful opportunity to mobilize young leaders of diverse faiths on climate change. We can all benefit from their enthusiasm, as well as connecting with each other and share our resources to deepen our work.

LE PRESIDENT DE L’ASSEMBLEE GENERALE DES NATIONS UNIES REÇOIT LA DECLARATION INTERRELIGIEUSE SUR LES CHANGEMENTS CLIMATIQUES SIGNEE PAR 270 HAUTS RESPONSABLES RELIGIEUX

New York, 18 avril. L’ambassadeur Mogens Lykketoft, président de l’assemblée générale des Nations unies, a reçu la Déclaration interreligieuse sur les changements climatiques adressée aux dirigeants du monde signée par 270 hauts responsables religieux, 4970 personnes et 176 groupes religieux du monde entier, lors d’une cérémonie interreligieuse rythmée par des chants bouddhistes, des prières zoroastriennes et des percussions sikhs, hier soir [heure française] au UN Church Centre.

La déclaration a été remise à M. Lykketoft par Stephen Chiu, un jeune homme de 23 ans de la génération du millénaire, spécialiste de la sensibilisation pour la Fondation bouddhiste internationale Tzu-Chi.

Parmi les signataires de la déclaration se trouvent : Sa Sainteté le 14ème Dalai Lama ; pasteur Olav Fykse Tveit, secrétaire général du Conseil œcuménique des Eglises ; Mgr Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancelier des Académies pontificales des sciences et des sciences sociales du Saint Siège ; Swami Aginivesh ; le grand rabbin Shear Yashuv Cohen ; le grand imam Maulana Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad ; l’archevêque émérite de Cape Town Desmond Tutu ; sœur Jayanti Kirplani de la Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University ; la prêtresse Beatriz Schulthess, présidente du Conseil spirituel ancestral des peuples autochtones et Cheik Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya de l’ordre soufi.

Les photos sont disponibles à cette adresse :

Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza #LightTheWay vigil

Usage libre de droits, merci de créditer Paul Hunt/Conseil œcuménique des Eglises 

« Cette initiative religieuse ainsi que d’autres prouvent que le changement climatique est à présent largement accepté comme une question morale », déclara M. Lykketoft. « La déclaration montre comment les religions peuvent être un catalyseur pour une action commune. Vous dites à vos fidèles que vous reconnaissez la gravité du changement climatique, ses impacts sur la vitalité de la planète et le bien-être de l’humanité. Vous demandez instamment une action sans délais. »

« Le gros de l’action devra provenir des individus. Les communautés religieuses font partie du mouvement plus large de la société civile et jouent un rôle absolument crucial lorsqu’elles sensibilisent leurs fidèles afin qu’ils changent leurs comportements et exigent des politiques intelligentes. Une initiative comme celle-ci me rend confiant : nous pouvons réussir et en effet nous réussirons. »

L’ambassadeur François Delattre, représentant permanent de la France aux Nations unies à New York, déclara que « la convergence d’un nombre aussi important de communautés de foi est réconfortant et encourageant. Le niveau d’engagement des responsables religieux dans la lutte contre le changement climatique et le soutien à l’Accord de Paris est sans précédent. Nous sommes la dernière génération qui puisse empêcher le changement climatique d’échapper à notre contrôle avec des conséquences désastreuses. Il n’y a pas de plan B, pas de planète B. »

« Paris ne fut que le départ d’un voyage long et difficile vers un monde sans carbone, poursuivit M. Delattre, mais ce fut un tournant. La COP21 fut un succès collectif et non pas un succès français, prouvant la vitalité du système onusien et du multilatéralisme. Des choix difficiles se présentent à nous et le scepticisme comme le cynisme sont toujours répandus. Nous devons continuer à écouter notre conscience, c’est pourquoi les communautés de foi sont si importantes et à ce point sources d’inspiration. »

Parlant au nom du représentant permanent du Maroc à l’Onu, son suppléant Dr. Abderrazak Laasel remercia les communautés de foi de se préoccuper du changement climatique. « Il y a de nombreuses opportunités de réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre dans le cadre de la lutte contre le changement climatique. Il est très important que les responsables religieux fassent progresser la prise de conscience. La communication et l’éducation ont un rôle clé dans la protection des ressources naturelles et il est important de faire progresser les contacts entre les groupes religieux et les autres. »

Halldor Thorgeirsson, directeur de la stratégie au secrétariat de la Convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques dit : « Je suis vraiment encouragé par cette forte expression de soutien. Votre déclaration montre que vous comprenez qu’éviter un changement climatique dangereux requiert une transformation économique fondamentale, non un réglage plus fin des systèmes existants, menant  à une décarbonisation profonde, puis totale, de l’offre énergétique. Cette transition apportera de multiples autres bénéfices et ouvrira d’énormes opportunités. Donc les impératifs moraux et économiques sont concordants dans ce cas. »

« 150 nations signeront l’Accord de Paris ce vendredi et l’entrée en vigueur aura probablement lieu l’an prochain. Nous n’atteindrons pas ses objectifs sans une mobilisation massive de tous les acteurs de la société. Il y a besoin d’une motivation morale profonde à changer – la religion peut poursuivre comme part puissante de la solution. Ce défi a injecté une nouvelle urgence dans le dialogue entre religions. »

Selon Selwin Hart, dirigeant de l’équipe changement climatique du secrétaire général de l’Onu, « les communautés de foi sont vitales pour promouvoir les efforts mondiaux afin de relever le défi du changement climatique. Soixante chefs d’Etat ou de gouvernement seront parmi les 150 nations représentées à la signature de l’Accord de Paris vendredi – c’est un record. Un certain nombre de petits Etats insulaires déposeront leurs instruments de ratification le même jour. »

Le révérend Mark MacDonald, évêque des peuples autochtones de l’Eglise anglicane du Canada, déclara que : « la communion de toutes choses, voilà ce qui est en jeu. Les peuples autochtones sont mis en danger par le changement climatique de façon particulière, bien qu’ils en soient les moins responsables. L’Accord de Paris est un début, nous sommes appelés à aller plus loin. Je vous appelle tous à rétablir cette communion et à réaliser notre transformation morale. »

Sœur Gayatri, représentante de Brahma Kumaris à l’Onu dit que son organisation et son partenaire le World Renewal Spiritual Trust ont, les dernières 20 années, conduit de la recherche et développement en technologies d’énergies renouvelables, installant et faisant fonctionner des centaines de systèmes de four solaires et photovoltaïques, ainsi que mis en place India One, une centrale solaire thermique de 1 MW, pour partie financée par les gouvernements indien et allemand. « Brahma Kumaris croit que la semence d’un renouveau du monde se trouve dans une conscience éveillée – non seulement avec les communautés religieuses et spirituelles, mais comme capacité collective de l’humanité. »

HH Radhanath Swami, membre du Conseil des gouverneurs de la Société internationale pour la conscience Krishna, indiqua que l’écologie actuelle de la planète reflétait l’écologie de nos cœurs. « Le défi du changement climatique est une opportunité de mettre de côté nos différences et nous unir pour appeler les dirigeants du monde à mettre en avant des politiques et actions authentiques afin d’honorer notre confiance sacrée. »

Tomas Insua, fondateur et coordinateur du Mouvement catholique mondial pour le climat de 300 membres, rapporta qu’un groupe voyageant vers le pôle nord avec une copie de l’encyclique du pape sur l’écologie intégrale Laudato Si était retardé par des failles dans la glace, montrant le statut menacé de la glace arctique. « Nous sommes très concernés par le fossé immense entre les beaux mots et les actions effectives des gouvernements, nota-t-il. Ceci est une crise spirituelle. Nous appelons à la justice climatique envers toute l’humanité et toutes les espèces. »

Des déclaration additionnelles furent prononcées par le président de la United Religions Initiative; Kiran Bali ; Iman Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, vice-président de l’Alliance musulmane d’Amérique du nord et Dr. Kenjuitsu Nakagaki, président du Conseil bouddhiste de New York.

L’événement fut modéré par le pasteur Fletcher Harper, directeur exécutif de GreenFaith, un centre pour le plaidoyer et la formation des responsables religieux sur les enjeux environnementaux, basé dans le New Jersey.

La rédaction et la diffusion de la déclaration ainsi que l’invitation à signature furent le fruit d’une collaboration entre des représentants de : ACT Alliance, Bhumi Project, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Catholic Earthcare Australia, Eco-Sikh, Elijah Interfaith Institute, Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Lutheran World Federation, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhists, United Religions Initiative et le World Council of Churches. Plus d’informations sur : www.interfaithstatement2016.org

CONTACTS

Martin Kopp, Fédération Luthérienne Mondiale

martinkopp.perso@gmail.com – +33.6.89.04.90.50.

GreenFaith aux Etats-Unis

pressandpolicy@greenfaith.org – +1.929.389.9724.

Photos : https://www.flickr.com/photos/128721081@N04/sets/72157665480717242

Usage libre de droits, merci de créditer Paul Hunt/Conseil œcuménique des Eglises

HIGH LEVEL SUPPORT

The COP22 Interfaith Climate Statement was signed by 303 eminent faith leaders from 58 countries from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jains, Quakers, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian Universalists, as well as Indigenous and Spritual leaders. Some eminent faith leaders who have signed are His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ven. Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong of Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists, Rev Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of World Council of Churches and Gretchen Castle, General Secretary of Friends World Committee for Consultation.

Some Quotes in Support of the Statement from Eminent Faith Leaders Globally

“I consider the issue of climate change vital because it threatens our common house, on the other hand, it is another form of injustice against those who suffer most, our children, women, indigenous and elderly.” Prof. Carlos Reyes, Ministro Religioso, profesor de Teologica, estudiante de derecho (UBA) (Christian, Argentina)

“We live in a relational world. Humans must learn to live within their limits, as well as their aspirations. Not to understand our limits is to court disaster. Being environmentally responsible is core business to people of faith and is ethically non-negotiable.” Bishop George Browning, Inaugural Convener the Anglican Communion Environment Network (Christian, Australia)

“The world has lost precious time in the last few decades, as countries have held back from acting with wisdom, self-transcendence and care for the global common good. Now change needs to happen at emergency speed. We pull together as a human community, or we all lose.” Sr. Berneice Loch rsm, President of Catholic Religious Australia & Leader of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) (Christian, Australia)

“If we truly care about our home on this planet we will do everything humanly possible to help our home to flourish. If the planet is alive and well so humans and all life will flourish. Climate action is action for the well being of planet earth, our home. It is urgent. Divesting from fossil fuels is a practical and powerful way to play our part in home care. The other side of divestment is re-investment in the future of the planet through renewable energy sources. Our home deserves no less.” The Right Rev. Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (Christian, Australia)

“Our world is dependant on us and we are dependant on our world. With this comes a call for responsibility, care and understanding. Every effort must be made by every human being to honour this connection. We now have a precious opportunity to act collectively to heal our world,our earth, our mother, our body.” Anne Markey, Lead for Goolwa Dharma Group and the Ashtree Sangha in Adelaide (Buddhist, Australia)

“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate God made us human beings, responsible for the whole planet and we are accountable for this responsibility… to take care of creation, of our planet and its environments and all life forms. This is part of our responsibility towards God.” Sheikh Isa Amer Quevedo, Centro Islamico Bolivano (Muslim, Bolvia)

“For all traditional black communities, we need a climate of change.” Rafael Soares de Oliveira, Diretor Executivo, Koinonia (Christian, Brazil)

“Climate change is the embracing reality of our time. It is not another issue in a long list.
It is a deeply spiritual matter, demanding answers as to how humankind is going to live with respect in Creation. What kind of ancestors will we be?” Very Rev. Dr. Bill Phipps, United Church of Canada (Christian, Canada)

“Sumaj causan” buen vivir: a good life for the whole of creation needs a climate of change.” Sr. Karoline Mayer Hofbeck, Chairwoman, La Fundaci n de Beneficencia Cristo Vive (Christian, Chile)

“We must use the natural world with future generations in mind just as earlier generations did with us in mind. Depleting our natural resources is equal to extinguishing the human race.” Friar Joseph Kwame Blay, Parish Priest of Christ the King (Christian, Ghana)

“We need collaboration across race, ethnicity, religion, country, and culture to assure that our mountains remain healthy. Global warming and climate change are serious threats to all our mountain environments and communities. Everyone on this planet should take actions in respecting the mountains, protecting the indigenous mountain people and cherishing the culture of indigenous mountain communities. This is why we engage in and advocate for sustainable mountain development around the world.” His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, The Mountain Partnership Ambassador (Buddhist, India)

“We live and share with all other sentient beings this wonderful world and the only planet known to humankind that support life. No point in destroying our home planet and find newer world elsewhere only to destroy that too. Let’s save it before it’s too late.” Kesang Wangdi, Executive Director, International Buddhist Confederation (Buddhist, India)

“We are in the midst of a catastrophe of unimaginable magnitude brought on by human minds and hands. It is essential that we harness our goodwill and talents at this critical time. I fully support the efforts of COP22 Interfaith Climate Statement.” Dr. John Fozdar, Sarawak Representative, Malaysia Interfaith Network (MIN) (Interfaith, Malaysia)

“Because Climate change is one of the most global indicators of the impacts of Human action in this creation.” Abdelmajid Tribak, Head, Division of Environmental Programmes, Science Directorate, Islamic Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) (Muslim, Morrocco)

“The Vedas say- “Mata Me Bhumi, Putro Hum Prithivya”, it means earth is my mother and I am her child. So the question is how can we serve mother earth being as a loyal and responsible child. We all have our own differences, at physical, financial, cultural, social, religious level. But one thing is very common, we all are HUMAN and live on the same EARTH. So we all should join our hands together to protect the EARTH.” Dr. Chintamani Yogi, Peace Service Center (Buddhist, Nepal)

“Climate change effects the lives of the most vulnerable people in the world and of the next generations. Creation is a great gift, we have to take our responsibility in being careful and reliable. We are able to change things, let’s just do it!” Karin van den Broeke, President of the Protestant Church (Christian, Netherlands)

“I have been involved in encouraging people to invest ethically. This includes ensuring that our investments enable us to live within the capacity of the Earth to support human life. We need to take climate warming as a serious risk to our future and move beyond the COP21 agreements because they are not enough to protect us and our future world.” Dr. Robert Howell, Quaker author, researcher and ethical investor (Quaker, New Zealand)

“Devotion to the Lord of all creation demands that we do our utmost for the good of all created beings, setting no limits to the horizons of our care. Humanity’s careless abuse of the creation has likely caused more devastation to life on Earth than any other factor in 66 million years, and accelerating global climate change is one of the most dangerous outcomes of this abuse. To assuage, halt, and in time reverse anthropogenic climate change may well be the single greatest endeavor for good that we human beings can engage in at this point in our history, to secure the mutual well-being of humankind and the other living creatures with whom we share the earth.” Othman Abd-ar-Rahman Llewellyn, Environmental Planner, Saudi Wildlife Authority, Saudi Arabia and Member, IUCN Commissions on Protected Areas & Environmental Law (Muslim, Saudi Arabia)

“Climate change is perhaps one of the most preeminent issues of our time. It is already severely impacting the Erath and our life together as humanity, but its deepest impact is upon the most vulnerable of God’s children. It is the result of deliberate decisions by the powerful of the world, it places profits above people, it has no regard for the consequence upon our mutual home, the Earth. We should everything we can do help reverse and rectify these decisions by concerted, committed and faithful action. This is now our solemn duty. Let us make it our solemn pledge.” Rev. Dr. Allan Aubrey Boesak, Executive Director and Chair of the Desmond Tutu Center and National President, Association of Christian Students in South Africa and National Vice President, South African Council of Churches (Christian, South Africa)

“COP21 in Paris has paved a way for moral, ethical and practical steps needed. We must now act and hold each other accountable for climate justice for God’s sake and the sake of generations yet to come. We owe it to ourselves to do this.” Most Rev. Dr. Thabo Makgoba, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, ACT Alliance Climate Justice Ambassador, Chair Anglican Environment Network (Christian, South Africa)

“There is little doubt that the impact human activity is having on the global climate is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity and the ecosystem we share. As the Earth Charter stated in 1992: “The future holds, at once, both great peril and great promise.” The deep challenges we face are an opportunity for us to evolve both individually and collectively. It is simultaneously an ethical and political challenge. It is a time for courageous leadership and widespread active participation to seek just and caring responses. It is time for us all to engage in contesting our future, to transform the irrational and unjust dynamics of our industrial growth society, and to empower each other to make changes consistent with a life-affirming vision.” Dharmachari Guhyapati, Ecodharma Centre (Buddhist, Spain)

“I am really happy to see that leaders, governments and the civil society are now taking climate change and global warming serious, and it is a hopeful sign. Taking care of this planet that is our only home is the responsibility of the whole of humanity, and therefore each of us as individuals has a responsibility to ensure that the world will be safe for future generations, for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I am hopeful that with a genuine sense of the oneness of humanity, all of us will do whatever we can to protect the environment.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Buddhist, Tibet)

“Our collective action on climate change is the greatest prioirty of all human beings in the twenty-first century. If we hope to save common home, our planet for the benefit of sentient beings.” Ven. Buddharakkhita Bhikkhu, Founder, Uganda Buddhist Centre (Buddhist, Uganda)
“There is urgent need to scale up action on climate change as it is very negatively impacting on the very poor, right now many people in Uganda are dying of famine, drought, floods and storms. The seasons are erratic and unreliable.” Bishop Nathan Kyamanywa, Bunyoro-Kitara Diocese (Christian, Uganda)

“Today, as we all stand at the brink of environmental disaster, there is new international resolve to curb the pace of climate change. The environmental movement, once associated with fringe activism, has indeed come a long way. Yet our present and future challenges demand an unprecedented degree of altruism and commitment. To overcome our existing inertia, we need to water the seeds of a quiet revolution by recognising that, for deep and enduring change, the human mind is our most effective, renewable and sustainable resource. To transform it requires a shift in our life perspectives and attendant underlying values. In this work, the world’s religions have an important and under-recognised contribution to make.” Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) (Sikh, UK)

“As important as it is to address the myriad of ethical challenges of our times; all will be simply be moving deck chairs on the Titanic, if we do not address the overwhelming challenge to the very survival of our planet.” Rabbi David Shlomo Rosen CBE, Director of the American Jewish Committee’s Department of Interreligious Affairs and International President of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (Jewish, UK)

“Care for the environment is one of the biggest moral and existential issues of our time. Combined and determined action for good stewardship of our planet earth is a central tenet of Christian faith.” Rt. Rev. Dr Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston, Church of England (Christian, UK)

“This planet is our earthly abode and it has rights over us. “It is Allah who has appointed you protectors in the earth ΓǪ that Allah may try you in what has been given to you.” – Al Qur’an – Aisha H.L al-Adawiya, Founder and Chair, Women In Islam Inc. (Muslim, USA)
“All those who live on the Earth at this moment in time have been given the greatest possibility of being agents of transformation for future generations. To live into this possibility we must act on three levels: at the level of nations; at sub-national levels (cities, regions, religious bodies); and as individuals. At all three levels of action we must see the historic Paris Agreement of 2015 as a starting point, not as a static goal, and we must aspire to deeper, broader, more creative efforts. The foundation of all our work in engaging climate change is spiritual – let the religious and spiritual traditions of the Earth bring our greatest spiritual values to bear in this crucial effort.” Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of California (Christian, USA)
“Climate change is the most momentous challenge humankind has ever faced. If we fail to rise to this challenge and make the swift, sweeping, even drastic cuts in carbon emissions needed to keep the rise in global average temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the consequences will be catastrophic, as climate scientists have long been telling us. To preserve a livable climate sacrifices will be demanded of all of us, particularly those of us living in the more affluent countries. At this point, however, if we hope to preserve human civilization and protect the fragile web of life, we must act promptly, and act with courage and determination.” Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Founder, Buddhist Global Relief (Buddhist, USA)
“As General Secretary of the World Office, on behalf of Quakers, I endorse this statement and support all efforts to renew and heal the Earth. As a spiritual imperative, we are called to live in right relationship with all living beings, to work for peace and eco-justice, and to let our lives be examples of love. Along with our faith partners, we will appeal to the human family and cooperate with those who share our hope for the Earth. May God bless every act toward this healing.” Gretchen Castle, General Secretary of Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quaker, USA)
“Climate Change is the most critical moral justice issue faith communities and the world face today. Future generations and all life on earth are counting on us to make a difference.” Roy (Bud) Cederholm, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts (Christian, USA)
“The fate of many species of plants and animals, as well as our future generations are at grave risk, we must act now.” Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Director, Tikkun Olam Commission of the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities (Jewish, USA)
“As we witness unprecedentedly rapid changes in our climate, with devastating impact on the poorest and most vulnerable members of the human family, it is time for us to come together to work towards a collective return to ecological sanity. Anything less places us on an irreversible road to ruin.” Imam Zaid Shakir, Co-founder and Chairman of Student Affairs at Zaytuna College (Muslim, USA)
“The entry into force of the Paris Agreement is a clear and positive signal that the world has started an unstoppable transition away from fossil fuels. The question is if world leaders will have the moral courage to make this transition happen at lightning speed as requested by climate scientists. Catholics join Pope Francis in demanding that the Paris Agreement’s nice words be turned into courageous decisions to protect our common home, the Earth, and the poorest who are suffering the worst impacts of the climate crisis. The latest round of negotiations in Morocco next week provide a perfect opportunity for governments to do this, providing clarity on their pre-2020 actions and drafting their longer-term 2050 plans.” Tomas Insua, Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement (Christian, USA)
“All religions call for the protection of the creation of God and we humans as the vicegerents of God need to step up and do our part in protecting the environment, the animal kingdom, the plant and rock kingdoms, and the beauty of God’s creation. “There is no creature on the Earth nor any bird in the sky except that they are nations just like you.” (Quran) Shaikh Mohamed Umer-Esmail, Imam of the Nueces Mosque (Muslim, USA)

Media Advisory – April 13

WHAT: Presentation of the Interfaith Climate Change Statement to the President of the UN General Assembly, H.E Mr. Mogens Lykketoft

WHERE: Church Center of the UN, 777 UN Plaza (1st Avenue and E. 44th Street)

WHEN:  Monday 18th April, 11-12 pm

The event will be followed by a PRESS CONFERENCE at the Center starting 12pm with speakers below. A Press Release will report highlights of the event and briefing, providing links to photos.

About: The Interfaith Climate Change Statement presents 250 global faith leaders’ from fifty countries positive judgement of the Paris Agreement and urges its prompt signature and ratification by governments so that it can come into force as soon as possible. The Statement also reaffirms the faith community’s support for increased ambition in climate change action and for the commitment to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The Statement and the 18th April event serve to renew the strong commitment of the faith community to remain active in defining the moral responsibility to care for the Earth, as so powerfully stated in the Pope’s Encyclical, as well as in climate change statements by Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh and other faith leaders. In addition to the 250 high-level faith leaders, more than 3,600 individuals and 83 groups have signed the Interfaith Climate Change Statement.

Amongst the 250 signatories to the Interfaith Climate Change Statement are: Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences of the Holy See, three  Catholic Cardinals, The Very Rev. Thabo Magkoba, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Archbishop Zakeos Mesrob, 84th Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul & All Turkey, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Most Ven. Myeong Seong Sunim, President Emeritus of the Korean National Bhikkhuni Association, Ven. B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera, ​Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia, H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, H.H Sri Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji, Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, President of the Israeli Sephardic Community Committee and Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Haifa.

The drafting and dissemination of the Statement and the organization of this event is a joint collaboration between representatives of: ACT Alliance, Bhumi Project, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Catholic Earthcare Australia, Eco-Sikh, Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Lutheran World Federation, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhists, United Religions Initiative and World Council of Churches. Further information at www.interfaithstatement2016.org

PROGRAM:

Opening Chant: Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nakagaki, President of the Buddhist Council of New York

Welcome by Moderator: Rev’d Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith

11.05- 30am: Faith Speakers

  • Kiran Bali MBE JP, Global Chairperson, United Religions Initiative

  • Imam Talib Abdur- Rashid, President, Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York

  • H.H. Radhanath Swami, Hindu, member, Board of Governors, International Society for Krishna Consciousness

  • The Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, Bishop for Indigenous Peoples, Anglican Church of Canada

  • Sister Gayatri, Representative to the UN in New York of the, Brahma Kumaris*

11.30- 35am: Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations in New York: His Excellency Mr. François Delattre

11.35-11.40am: Director for Strategy, Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr. Halldór Thorgeirsson

11.45am-11.50am: The President of the UN General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Mogens Lykketoft

11.50-11.55am: Official Handover of the Statement to Ambassador Lykketoft

11.55am: Sikh Prayer Song: Dr. Rajwant Singh, Founder and President of EcoSikh

12.00pm Close

INFORMATION FOR EDITORS.  A REMINDER Media Advisory issued on Friday 15 April will provide both updated numbers on signatories as well as a LINK for media to the full list of faith leader signatories. Contents of list and Statement EMBARGOED till 10am 18th April.

contact: pressandpolicy@greenfaith.org (as from Thursday 14 April 09.00 EST/1pm GMT)

THE SIGNATORIES TO THE INTERFAITH CLIMATE CHANGE STATEMENT 2016.

SIGNEE

COUNTRY

FAITH

Prof. Nihal S Agar AM, President, Hindu Council of Australia Australia Hindu
Imam Shady Alsulaiman, President, Australian Imams Council Australia Muslim
Rev. Dr. Lyn Arnold Chair of the Public Affairs Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Synod Australia Christian
Rev. Dr. Vicky Balabanski, Director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology (FORE) Australia/ Pacific Interfaith
Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Environmental Advisor to the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, New Zealand and Asia Australia/NZ/Asia Jewish
Abbot Ajahn Brahm, Spiritual Director, Buddhist Society of Western Australia and Abbot of Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery Australia Buddhist
Bishop George Browning, Inaugural Convener the Anglican Communion Environment Network Australia Christian
Sr. Elizabeth Delaney sgs, General Secretary National Council of Churches in Australia Australia Christian
Rev.Jokyo George Gatenby, Chair, Buddhist Council of South Australia Australia Buddhist
Bishop John Henderson, Bishop of the Church, Lutheran Church of Australia Australia Christian
Imam Yahya Ibrahim, University of Western Australia Australia Muslim
Dr. Manzoor Khan, President, Ahmiyadiyya Muslim Association Australia Muslim
Sr. Berneice Loch rsm, President of Catholic Religious Australia & Leader of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) Australia Christian
Fr. Philip Marshall, Vicar-General Catholic Diocese of Adelaide Australia Christian
Stuart McMillan, President, Uniting Church in Australia Assembly Australia Christian
Rob McPherson, Vice-President Australian & New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association Australia Christian
Dr. Jake Mitra, President, Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils Australia Buddhist
Thea Ormerod, President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change Australia Interfaith
Damian Outtrim, President, Multifaith Association of South Australia Australia Interfaith
Jacqueline Remond, National Director, Catholic Earthcare Australia Christian
Bishop Suriel, Coptic Orthodox Church Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions Australia Christian
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna and President of the Austrian Bishops Conference, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Austria Christian
Mujib Huq, Executive Chairman, Centre for South Asia Studies Review (CSASR) Bangladesh Muslim
Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, President of the Council of Ulema, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Bosnia Muslim
Rafael Soares de Oliveira, Diretor Executivo, Koinonia, Presença Ecumênica e Serviço, ACT Aliança Brazil Christian
Rt Rev. Christopher Hill, President, Conference of European Churches Belgium/ UK Christian
Fr. José Ignacio Garcia, SJ Coordinator, Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC) Belgium Christian
Fr. Heikki Huttunen, General Secretary, Conference of European Churches Belgium/ Finland Christian/Orthodox
Dr Aadmou Njoya, Minister Plenipotentiary and President of the Cameroon Democratic Union (CDU), Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Cameroon Muslim
Imam Navid Aziz, Islamic Information Society of Calgary Canada Muslim
Pema Chodron, Teacher, Gampo Abbey Nova Scotia, Shambhala Canada Buddhist
Acharya Martin Janowitz, Shambhala International Canada Buddhist
National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Canada Christian
Bishop Mark MacDonald, Bishop for Indigenous Peoples, Anglican Church of Canada Canada Indigenous Anglican
Very Rev. Dr. Bill Phipps, United Church of Canada Canada Christian
Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez, Archbishop of Bogota, President of CELAM Colombia Christian
Rev. Milton Mejias, General Secretary, Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) Colombia Christian
Priestess Beatriz Schulthess, President of the Indigenous Peoples Ancestral Spiritual Council and a member of the Kolla Nation in northern Argentina Costa Rica Indigenous
Rt Rev. Peter Fischer Møller, Bishop of Roskilde Denmark Christian
Rabbi Jair Melchior, Chief Rabbi, Jewish Community in Denmark Denmark Jewish
Imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen, Vice Chairman of Muslim Council of Denmark Denmark Muslim
Rev. Milton Mejía, General Secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) Ecuador Christian
Rev. Francois Pihaatae, General Secretary, Pacific Council of Churches Fiji Christian
Pastor François Clavairoly, President of the French Protestant Federation France Christian
Metropolitan Emmanuel, President of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in France France Christian
Rev Olivier Wang-Genh, President of the French Union of Buddhists France Buddhist
Edouard Pihèwa Karoue, International President of IMCS Pax Romana France Christian
Anouar Kbibech, President of the French Muslim Council France Muslim
Ven. Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong, Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists France Buddhist
Rabbi Haïm Korsia, Great Rabbi of France France Jewish
Bishop Georges Pontier, President of the French Catholic Conference of Bishops France Christian
Michel Roy, Secretary General, Caritas Internationalis France Christian
Fr. Joseph Komakoma, Secretary General, Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) Ghana Christian
Dr. Dimitra Koukoura. Represents the WCC’s Global Christian Forum. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Greece Christian
Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Bishop Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences Holy See Christian
Fr. Kevin O’Neill, SSC, Superior General, Missionary Society of St. Columban Hong Kong Christian
Ven. Thich Chan Phap Kham, Asian Institute of Applied Buddhism, Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists Hong Kong Buddhist
Tibor Kauser, Minister General, Order of Secular Franciscans Hungary Chistian
Jaspreet Kaur, Project Coordinator, Guru Nanak Multiversity India Sikh
Swami Agnivesh, President of the World Council of Arya Samaj “Society of Nobles”, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
Mata Amritanandamayi, Amma (“Mother”), Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
Swami Atmapriyananda, Vice Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
Rev. Dr. Mar Atsongchanger, President, National Council of Churches in India India Christian
Swamiji Jagadguru Karmayogi Charukeerty Bhattarak, Pontiff of Jain Shravanabelagola Math, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
H.H Swami Chandra. Initiated into the Usadin Order by Mahant Girdhari Dassji. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
Swami Chaturvedi, Head of Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust (SRMT) India Hindu
Lieutenant Colonel Dasari Daniel, National Secretary, The Salvation Army India Christian
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in India India Christian
Acharya Shri Shrivatsa Goswami. A leading figure in the Vaishnava Tradition. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, President, Federation of Asian Bishops´ Conferences (FABC) India Christian
Dr. Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyassi, Chief Imam, All India Organisation of Mosques, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Muslim
“Jaspreet Kaur, Head of Project, Guru Nanak Multiversity
India Sikh
Dr. Wahidudin Khan, Founder of the Islamic Centre – Urdu Islamic Institution, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Muslim
Dr..A.K Merchant, Trustee, Lotus Temple and National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is India Bahai
Dr. Acharya Lokesh Muni Ji, Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati India Jain
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Director, Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery India Buddhist
Rev. Dr. Solomon Rongpi, General Secretary, Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India India Christian
Ven. Khandro Rinpoche. Teacher in both the Kagyu and Nyingma Traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Buddhist
H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, Co-Founder/chair Global Interfaith WASH Alliance India Hindu
Dharmacharya Shantum Seth, Ahimsa Trust, Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists India Buddhist
H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of Art of Living Foundation, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary General, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance; President, Divine Shakti Foundation India Hindu
H.H. Radhanath Swami India Hindu
H.H. Pujya Swami, Chidananda Saraswatiji, President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
Gunbir Singh, Chairman, EcoAmritsar India Sikh
H.H Sri Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji. Youngest ever swamiji to ascend the Paryaaya Peetam in Udupi. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Hindu
Telesphore Placidus Cardinal Toppo, Cardinal Priest and Archbishop of Ranchi in the Roman Catholic Church, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders India Christian
Ven. Dharmavimala, Vice Abbot, Ekayana Buddhist Center Indonesia Buddhist
Dr. Fachruddin Majeri Mangunjaya, MSi, Vice Chairman Centre for Islamic Studies Universitas Nasional Indonesia Muslim
Prof. Din Syamsuddin, Co-President of Religion for Peace, Leader of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia Indonesia Muslim
Yenny Zannuba Wahid, Director, Wahid Institute Indonesia Muslim
Rabbi David Bigman, Head of the Maale Gilboa Yeshiva, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Israel Jewish
Rabbi Youval Cherlow, Head of the Chesder Yeshiva of Petach Tikvah, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Israel Jewish
Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Israel Jewish
Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, President of the Israeli Sephardic Community Committee, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Israel Jewish
Rabbi Michael Melchior, International Director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Israel Jewish
Kadi Ahmed Natour, President of the High Muslim Court of Appeal (Israel). Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Israel Muslim
Peta Jones Pellach, Member of the Elijah Interfaith Institute Israel Jewish
Prior Isabelle Flye-Saintmarie, Prioress of the Monastic Family of Bethlehem, the Assumption of the Virgin and St. Bruno, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Israel Christian
Fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP, Master of the Order of Preachers, Dominicans Italy Christian
Fr. Mauro Johri, OFM cap Minister General, Order of Friars Minor Capucin Italy Christian
Sr. Dehorah Lockwood, Minister General, Franciscan Sisters of Penitence Italy Christian
Br. Mauro, Minister General of OFM Capuchins and President of the Union of Superior Generals- International- USG Italy Christian
Abbot Primate Notker Wolf OSB, Benedictine Confederation of the Order of Saint Benedict Italy Christian
Fr. Michael Perry, OFM Minister General Order of Friars Minor Italy Christian
Fr. Nicholas Polichnowski, Minister General, Third Order Regular Italy Christian
Fr. Fernando Millan Romeral, O.Carm. Prior General, the Carmelite Order Italy Christian
Fr. Marco Tasca OFM conv, Minister General, Order of Friars Minor Conventual Italy Christian
Yoshitaka Oba, General Director, Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Japan Buddhist
Abdullahi Abdi, Chairman, National Muslim Leaders Forum Kenya Muslim
Dr. Agnes Aboum, World Council of Churches, Moderator of Central Committee Kenya Christian
Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali, Secretary General, Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and Director, Arigatou International – Nairobi Kenya Interfaith
Prof. Azizan Baharuddin, Director General of the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia Muslim
Dr. John Fozdar, Sarawak Representative, Malaysia Interfaith Network (MIN) Malaysia Interfaith
Ven. B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera, ​Chief Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysia Buddhist
Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation/ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land Middle East Christian
Ven. Dr. T. Bulgan, Secretary General of Asian Conference of Religions for Peace (ACRP) Mongolia Chapter, Member of ACRP Governing Body and Executive Council Mongolia Buddhist
Dr. Ahmed Taoufiq, Morocco’s Minister of Habous (endowments) and Islamic Affairs, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Morocco Muslim
Abdelmajid Tribak, Head, Division of Environmental Programmes, Science Directorate, Islamic Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) Morocco Muslim
Edy Korthals Altes. Former Ambassador of the Netherlands, Former Honorary President of Religions for Peace Netherlands Interfaith
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, President, the Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values Netherlands Jewish
Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Nigeria Christian
The Rev. Canon Israel Odewole, Canon of the Cathedral Church of St. Stephen, Oke-Aluko, Church of Nigeria Nigeria Christian
Rev. Dr. Yusuf Ibrahim Wushishi, General Secretary, Church Council of Nigeria Nigeria Christian
Ghulam Abbas, Chairman, Islamic Council of Norway Norway Muslim
Bishop Ingeborg Midttømme, Church of Norway Norway Christian
Bishop Erling Pettersen, Church of Norway Norway Christian
Imam Ibrahim Saidy, Founder of Green Jihad for Peace and Sustainable Development and Member of the Imam Council of Norway Norway Muslim
Archbishop John Ribat, President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Oceania Christian
Seemi Ikramullah, Executive Council Women’s Forum, Asian Conference of Religions for Peace (ACRP) and Executive Member of ACRP Governing Board Pakistan Interfaith
Grand Imam Maulana Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad Pakistan Muslim
Khalid Ikramullah Khan, Vice-President of the Religions for Peace-Pakistan Chapter, Asian Conference of Religions for Peace (ACRP) and Executive Member of ACRP Governing Board Pakistan Interfaith
Muhammad Suheyl Umar, Director of Iqbal Academy Pakistan, Member of the Elijah Interfaith Academy Pakistan Muslim
Dr. Lilian Sison, Secretary General, Religions for Peace Philippines Interfaith
Lourdes Valencia Arsenio, Convenor, Laudato Si Movement for Laguna Lakes and Climate Change, Archdiocese of Manila Ministry on Ecology Philippines Christian
The Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, D.D, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity Philippines Christian
Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro Philippines Christian
Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, President of Caritas Internationalis Philippines Christian
Rabbi Menachem Hacohen, Chief Rabbi of Romania, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Romania Jewish
Archbishop Cormac Vsevolod Malakhov, Canonical Catholic Church Celtic Cross Russia Christian
Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the World Congress of Russian Jewry. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Russia Jewish
Othman Abd-ar-Rahman Llewellyn, Environmental Planner, Saudi Wildlife Authority, Saudi Arabia and Member, IUCN Commissions on Protected Areas & Environmental Law Saudi Arabia Muslim
Rt. Rev Dhiloraj Ranjit Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo, Church of Ceylon, Diocese of Colombo. Sri Lanka Christian
Ven. Dr. Bhikkhuni Kusuma. Pioneered the re-establishment of the female Bhikkhuni Buddhist order. Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Sri Lanka Buddhist
Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne, Chairman of International Network for Engaged Buddhists and Sevalanka Foundation Sri Lanka Buddhist
Ven. Athuraliya Ratana, Member of Parliamaent, Leader of the Jaathika Hela Urumaya party Sri Lanka Buddhist
The Most Rev. Dr. Thabo Makgoba, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, ACT Alliance Climate Justice Ambassador, Chair Anglican Environment Network South Africa Christian
Rev. Canon Dr. Rachel Mash, Provincial Environmental Coordinator, Anglican Church of Southern Africa South Africa Christian
Archbishop of the Orthodox Archbishopric of Zimbabwe and Angola Serafim Kykkotis, Head of the Office on Climate Change Crisis and Poverty of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa South Africa Christian/ Orthodox
Tahirih Mathee, Chairperson, Southern Africa Faith Communities Environment Institute South Africa Baha’i
Bishop Geoff Davis, Patron, Southern Africa Faith Communities Environment Institute South Africa Interfaith
Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu South Africa Christian
Ven. Chung Ohun Lee, Senior Representative of Won Buddhism to the UN and Interfaith Affairs. Co-President of Religions for Peace South Korea Buddhist
Ven. Prof. Jinwol Sunim, President of United Religions Initiative of Korea, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders South Korea Buddhist
The Most Ven. Myeong Seong Sunim, President Emeritus of the Korean National Bhikkhuni Association, Korea South Korea Buddhist
Archbishop Dr. Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala in Sweden and Primate of the Church of Sweden Sweden Christian
Bishop Emeritus Lennart Koskinen, Bishop of Visby and the Church of Sweden Overseas, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Sweden Christian
Anders Wejryd, President for Europe, World Council of Churches, Archbishop emeritus Church of Sweden Sweden Christian
Swami Amarananda, Director of the Centre Védantique in Geneva, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Switzerland Hindu
Fr. Markus Heinze, Executive Director, Franciscans International Switzerland Christian
Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation Switzerland/ Chile Christian
Dr. John Nduna, General Secretary, ACT Alliance Switzerland/Zambia Christian
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches Switzerland/ Norway Christian
Jonathan Woolley, Director, Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) Switzerland Quaker
Dharma Master Hsin Tao, Founder, Museum of World Religions, Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society, Global Family for Love and Peace Taiwan Buddhist
Dharma Master Cheng Yen, Founder, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Taiwan Buddhist
Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa, Founder Chair, International Network of Engaged Buddhists and Santi Pracha Dhamma Institute Thailand Buddhist
Ven. Phra Dharmakosajarn, Rector of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU), Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Thailand Buddhist
Ven. Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Linh Nghiem, Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists Thailand Buddhist
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Tibet Buddhist
Prof. Dr. İbrahim Özdemir, Professor of Philosophy and the Founding President of Gazikent University Turkey Muslim
Archbishop Zakeos Mesrob, 84th Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul & All Turkey, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders Turkey Christian
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Primate of the Anglican Church of Uganda Uganda Christian
Dr. Adnan Ali Adikata, Director, Islamic University of Uganda Uganda Muslim
Dr Husna Ahmad, OBE, Islamic Adviser Alliance of Religions and. Conservation, CEO of Global One UK Muslim
Imam Qari Muhammad Asim, Leeds Makkah Mosque UK Muslim
Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, Tarteel Academy UK Muslim
Bhai Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) UK Sikh
Kiran Bali MBE JP, Global Chairperson, United Religions Initiative UK Hindu
The Most Rev. David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. UK Christian
Jamie Cresswell, President, European Buddhist Union UK Buddhist
Imam Imtiyaz Daniel, Abu Hanifah Foundation UK Muslim
Canon Giles Goddard, General Synod, Church of England UK Christian
Ram Gidoomal CBE, Chairman, South Asian Development Partnership UK Christian
Naser Haghamed, CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide UK Muslim
Imam Abdullah Hasan, British Imams & Scholars Contributions Awards UK Muslim
The Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, Church of England UK Christian
The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane and Primus of Scottish Episcopal Church UK Christian
The Rt Rev. Dr. Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston, Church of England UK Christian
Revd Simon Walkling, Moderator of the United Reformed Church National Synod of Wales UK Christian
Revd Dr Geraint Tudur, General Secretary, Union of Welsh Independent Churches UK Christian
The Most Revd Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales UK Christian
The Rt Revd John Davies, Bishop of Swansea and UK Christian
Dr. Shahrul Hussain, Abrahamic Foundation UK Muslim
Dr. Justine Huxley, Director, St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace UK Sufi
Dr. Vinod Kapashi, President, Mahavir Foundation UK Jain
Imam Wasim Kempson, Norbury Muslim Centre UK Muslim
Fazlun Khalid, Founder-Director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science UK Muslim
Sr. Jayanti Kirplani, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University UK Brahma Kumaris
Dr. Shuruq Naguib, Lancaster University UK Muslim
Judith Morris, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Wales. UK Christian
Very Rev June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders UK Christian
Imam Ismail Patel, Friends of Al-Aqsa UK Muslim
Imam Abduljalil Sajid, Chairman of Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony (MCRRH) and one of the Founders of the Muslim Council of Britain, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders UK Muslim
Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) UK Sikh
Jagraj Singh Ji, CEO and Founder, Everything’s 13 and Basics of Sikhi UK Sikh
Dr. Mawlana Shahid Raza OBE, Leicester Central Mosque UK Muslim
Sagar Sumaria, Jain Ecology, SA Sumaria UK Jain
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Rabbi of the New North London Synagogue and Senior Rabbi of The Assembly of Masorti Synagogues UK, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders UK Jewish
Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf, Nur al Habib Foundation UK Muslim
Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary, World Methodist Council USA Christian
Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdallah, Imam and Director for the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Muslim
Aisha H.L al-Adawiya, Founder and Chair, Women In Islam Inc. USA Muslim
Imam Plemon El-Amin, Resident Imam of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Muslim
The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of California USA Christian
Azhar Azeez, President of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) USA Muslim
Dr. Y. Mossa Basha, Chairman of the Muslim American Coalition, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Muslim
Jan Chozen Bays, Co- Founder Great Vow Zen Monastery, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Buddhist
Br. Clark Berge SSF, Minister General, Society of St. Francis USA Christian
Ven. Santussika Bhikkhuni, Karuna Buddhist Vihara and Founder of Buddhist Climate Action Network (BCAN) USA Buddhist
The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, President, The Regeneration Project, Interfaith Power & Light USA Christian
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Founder, Buddhist Global Relief USA Buddhist
Tara Brach, Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Senior Teacher and Founder USA Buddhist
Patrick Carolan, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network USA Christian
Ashok Domadia, JAINA President & Chairman, JAINA BOD USA Jain
Homi D. Gandhi, Vice President, Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) USA Zoroastrian
Fr. Raymond Finch, Superior General, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers USA Christian
Ven. Norman Fischer, Founder and Teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Buddhist
Joseph Goldstein, Insight Meditation Society, Senior Teacher and Founder of the Insight Meditation Society USA Buddhist
Rabbi Arthur Green, Rector, Rabbinical School, Hebrew College, Newton MA USA Jewish
John Grim, Co-Director, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology USA Interfaith
The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Former Presiding Bishop, Primate and Chief Pastor of the Episcopal Church, President of the House of Bishops, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Christian
Rev. Joan Jiko Halifax, Abbot of Upaya Zen Center USA Buddhist
Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith USA Interfaith
Rev Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, President of Auburn Seminary, New York, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Christian
Tomas Insua, Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) USA Christian
Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal, Founder-President of Center for Islam and Science, Canada, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Muslim
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D, Sheikh Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Sufi Order, Golden Sufi Center USA Sufi
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun and Chair of the Network of Spiritual Progressives Berkeley, California USA Jewish
Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Director, Tikkun Olam Commission of the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities USA Jewish
Acharya Adam Lobel, Shambhala USA Buddhist
David R. Loy, Zen Teacher in the Sanbo Zen Tradition of Japanese Buddhism USA Buddhist
Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, Founder and Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Muslim
Rabbi Nina Mandel, President Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association USA
Rabbi Richard Marker, Vice Chair of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Jewish
Rev. Dr. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.D, Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, University of Chicago USA Christian
Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh Khalsa, Ambassador of Sikh Religion, Western Hemisphere USA Sikh
Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Christian
Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Director of Outreach, Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center USA Muslim
Sr. Patricia McDermott, RSM, President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas USA Christian
Commissioner Christine MacMillan, Director of Public Engagement, World Evangelical Alliance USA Christian
The Rev. Peter Morales, President, Unitarian Universalist Association USA Christian
Diane Randall, Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation USA Quaker
Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid, Vice President of The Muslim Alliance in North America USA Muslim
Rabbi David Rosen, Member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders USA Jewish
Dr. Robert P. Sellers, Chair of the Board of Trustees, the Parliament of the World’s Religions USA Interfaith
Dr. Saiyid Masroor Shah, Chairman of Green Masjid Task Force USA Muslim
Imam Zaid Shakir, Co-founder and Chairman of Student Affairs at Zaytuna College USA Muslim
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Chairman of the Fiqh (Islamic Law) Council of North America (FCNA) USA Muslim
Dr. Rajwant Singh, Founder and President of EcoSikh USA Sikh
Shakeel Syed, Executive Director, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California USA Muslim
Shelley Tanenbaum, General Secretary, Quaker Earthcare Witness USA USA Quaker
Ven. Tathālokā Therī, Founder, Dhammadharini Sangha and Co-Founder North American Bhikkhuni Association USA Buddhist
Mary Evelyn Tucker, Co-Director, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology USA Interfaith
Rev. Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) USA Interfaith
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Executive Director, Shalom Center USA Jewish
Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities USA Jewish
Most Ven. Thích Nữ Tịnh Nguyện, President of Vietnam Bhikkhuni Sangha Vietnam Buddhist
Rev. Suzanne Matale, General Secretary, Council of Churches of Zambia Zambia Christian

PRESIDENT OF UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY RECEIVES INTERFAITH CLIMATE CHANGE STATEMENT TO WORLD LEADERS SIGNED BY 270 HIGH-LEVEL FAITH LEADERS

New York, 18 April. At a colourful multifaith ceremony with Buddhist chants, Zoroastrian prayers and Sikh drumming at the Church Center for the UN, Ambassador Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly took delivery this morning of the Interfaith Climate Change Statement to World Leaders signed by 270 high-level religious leaders, 4970 individuals and 176 religious groups from around the world (www.interfaithstatement2016.org). 

The Statement was handed to Mr. Lykketoft by ´millenial generation´ 23-year old Stephen Chiu, Outreach Specialist of the international Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation.

Amongst key signatories of the Statement are (full list here) : His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches; Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences of the Holy See;  Swami Aginivesh; Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen;  Grand Imam Maulana Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad;  Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town the Most Rev. Desmond Tutu;   Sister Jayanti Kirplani, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University; Priestess Beatriz Schulthess, President of the Indigenous Peoples´ Ancestral Spiritual Council; and Sheikh Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya, Sufi Order.

Photos free for us with credit are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128721081@N04/albums/72157665480717242

“This and other religious initiatives demonstrate that climate change is now firmly accepted as a moral issue”, Mr. Lykketoft said. “The Statement shows how religions can be a catalyst for common action. You are telling your followers that you recognize the seriousness of climate change, its impacts on the vitality of the planet and the wellbeing of humanity. You are demanding action to be taken now. “

“Most of the action will have to come from individuals. The faith community is part of the broader Civil Society movement and plays an absolutely critical role in reaching out to followers to change their behavior and demand smart policies. An initiative like this makes me confident that we can and will succeed.“

Ambassador François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations in New York stated that “the convergence of so many faith communities is heartening and encouraging. The level of commitment of faith leaders in combatting climate change and supporting the Paris Agreement is unprecedented. We are the last generation with the ability to prevent climate change getting out of control with disastrous consequences. There is no Plan B, no Planet B.”

“Paris was just the beginning of a long, hard journey to a carbon-free world”, Mr. Delattre continued, “but a turning point. COP 21 was a collective not a French success, demonstrating the vitality of the UN system and of multilateralism. Hard choices are ahead, and skepticism and cynicism are still rampant. We need to continue listening to our conscience, which is why the faith community is so important and so inspiring.”

Speaking on behalf of the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN, his deputy Dr. Abderrazak Laasel thanked faith communities for addressing climate change. “There are many opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as part of the fight against climate change. It is very important for faith leaders to create greater awareness. There is a significant role for communication and education in the protection of natural resources, and it is important to enhance contacts between religious and other groups.”

(France and Morocco are co-presidents of the 22nd Conference of Contracting Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change to be held in Marrakech, Morocco 7-18 November 2016)

Halldor Thorgeirsson, Director of Strategy at the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change said, “I am very encouraged at the strong expression of support.  Your Statement shows that you understand that avoiding dangerous climate change requires fundamental economic transformation, not fine tuning of existing systems, leading to deep and later full decarbonisation of the energy supply. This transition will bring multiple other benefits and open huge opportunities. So the moral and economic imperatives are fully aligned in this case.”

“150 nations will sign the Paris Agreement on Friday and entry into force is likely next year. We won´t achieve its goals without the massive mobilization of all actors of society. There is need for a deep moral motivation for change – religion can continue to be a powerful part of the solution. This challenge has injected a new urgency into the dialogue between religions.”

According to Selwin Hart, Leader of the UN Secretary-General´s Climate Change Team “faith communities are vital for promoting global efforts to address the climate change challenge. Sixty heads of state or government will be among the 150 nations represented at Friday´s signing of the Paris Agreement – a record. A number of small island developing states will deposit ratification instruments, on the same day.”

The Rt. Reverend Mark MacDonald, Bishop for Indigenous Peoples, Anglican Church of Canada stated that “the communion of all things is what is at stake. Indigenous peoples are uniquely threatened by climate change, though the least responsible. The Paris Agreement is a beginning, we are called to go further. I invite you all to re-establish that communion and to achieve our moral transformation.”

Sister Gayatri, UN representative of the Brahma Kumaris said that her organization and its partner World Renewal Spiritual Trust had for the last 20 years been conducting training research and development in renewable energy technologies, installing and operating hundreds of solar cooking and photovoltaic systems, as well as setting up the India One, 1Mw solar thermal power plant, partly funded by the German and Indian Governments. “Brahma Kumaris believe the seed of world renewal is an awakened consciousness – not only with the spiritual and religious communities but as a collective capacity of humanity”.

HH Radhanath Swami, Hindi, member of the Board of Governors of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness indicated that the current ecology of the planet reflected the ecology of our hearts. “The climate change challenge is an opportunity to put aside our differences and unite to appeal to the world´s leaders to genuinely put forth policies and actions to honour our sacred trust”.

Tomas Insua, Founding Co-ordinator of the 300 member Global Catholic Climate Movement reported that a group travelling to the North Pole with  a copy of the Pope´s Encyclical on integral ecology ´Laudato Si´ was being delayed by ice cracks, showing the severely threatened status of the Arctic Ice. “We are very concerned at the huge gap between nice words and actual actions from governments,” he noted. “This is a spiritual crisis. We call for climate justice towards all humanity and all species.”

Additional statements were made by the Global Chairperson of the United Religions Initiative, Kiran Bali, Iman Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, Vice President of the Muslim Alliance of North America and Dr. Kenjuitsu Nakagaki, President of the Buddhist Council of New York.

The event was moderated by Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith, a New Jersey based center for advocacy and training of faith leaders in environmental issues.

Collaborating organizations in developing and disseminating the Statement and inviting signatures from faith leaders are: ACT Alliance, Bhumi Project, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Catholic Earthcare Australia, Eco-Sikh, the Elijah Interfaith Institute, Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective, Global Catholic Climate Movement, GreenFaith, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Lutheran World Federation, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhists, United Religions Initiative and World Council of Churches. Further information at www.interfaithstatement2016.org

INFORMATION FOR EDITORS.

For more information contact pressandpolicy@greenfaith.org   tel (USA) 929 389 9724

Ciara Shannon, Statement co-ordinator  ciarashannon.hk@gmail.com tel: (Hong Kong) +852 62096775

Free photographs are available from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128721081@N04/albums/72157665480717242

Please credit Paul Hunt – World Council of Churches.