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.“The concept of moving the climate saving actions forward is designed with the right participants aligned through the most effective force. This not only helps in increasing the member inclusion of the faith Statement but also brings in a sense of unity in diversity for the true welfare of life and its environment. The decision is just as justified as the move to enroll Crypto Code into a legal run on cryptocurrency.

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.

SIGN THE STATEMENT AS GROUP

ADD YOUR ORGANISATION, COMMUNITY OR GROUP TO SUPPORT THE INTERFAITH CLIMATE CHANGE STATEMENT.

Your name along with those of religious leaders and other people of faith from around the world, will be handed over at an official event in New York to the United Nations on April 18th, 2016.

The Interfaith Climate Change Statement outlines Faith Leaders’ positive judgement of the adopted Paris Agreement and urges its prompt signature and ratification by governments so that it can come into force as soon as possible. It also urges that there is a significant increase in the current levels of ambition relating to emission reductions, financial flows, adaptation, loss and damage – so as to keep temperatures within reach of 1.5C.The contribution of an individual cannot be overseen and is necessary as a discrete entity in itself, forming a part of a cumulative effect on reversing the unfavorable climate change. You might invest in a number of currencies through Bitcoin Trader, but the profit you derive from each transaction is never ignored by your wallet. The statement is however not limited to the number of participants, a single association or an organization. Your part remains the same but the impact of a signature in the name of a community or a group can link other similar associations to the statement and magnifies the reach and support.

The statement also serves 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 Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Sikh and other faith leaders.

THE 6 KEY POINTS WITHIN THE INTERFAITH CLIMATE CHANGE STATEMENT

  1. 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
  2. Insist on rapid emissions reduction and peaking by 2020, in order to keep the 1.5C goal within reach
  3. Strongly advocate for greater flows of finance, especially for adaptation and loss and damage
  4. Urge the swift phase out of all fossil fuel subsidies and a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050
  5. 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
  6. Call for fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in renewables, including within our own communities

EL PRESIDENTE DE LA ASAMBLEA GENERAL DE LAS NACIONES UNIDAS RECIBE LA DECLARACION INTERRELIGIOSA A LOS LIDERES POLITICOS SOBRE CAMBIO CLIMATICO FIRMADA POR 270 DIRIGENTES RELIGIOSOS DE ALTO NIVEL

New York, on April 18. In the course of a colorful interreligious ceremony with Buddhist chants, Zoroastrian prayers and drums to the Church Center for the UN the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Ambassador Mogens Lykketoft has received the Interreligious Declaration to the Political Leaders on Climate Change signed by 270 high-level religious leaders from all over the world.

(www.interfaithstatement2016.org). 

The Declaration was delivered by a representative of the `millennial ‘generation, Stephen Chiu, 23, a specialist in dissemination of the international Buddhist foundation Tu-Chi Foundation.

Among the most prominent signatories are His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama; the Reverend Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches; Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences of the Holy See; Swami Aginivesh; Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen; The Great Imam Maulina Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad; The Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, the Very Revd. Desmond Tutu; Sister Jayanti Kirplani, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University; Priest Beatriz Schulthess, President of the Ancestal Spiritual Council of Indigenous Peoples; and Sheikh Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya, Sufi Order.

Free photos (with photographer’s credit) are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/128721081@N04/albums/72157665480717242

“This and other religious initiatives demonstrate that climate change is firmly accepted as a moral issue,” said Mr. Lykketoft. “The Declaration demonstrates how religions can be a catalyst for common action. You are telling your followers that you recognize the seriousness of climate change, its impact on the vitality of the planet and the well-being of humanity … You demand that the action be started now. “

“Most of the action has to come from the individuals. The faith community is part of the broader civil society movement and plays an absolutely critical role in reaching its followers to change their behavior and demand intelligent policies. An initiative like this gives me confidence that we can succeed. Religion has a special influence on his followers and a good example is the way in which parents try to morally discipline their kids by saying that God will punish them for their bad deeds. There is not a better tool than religion which can bind all strata of the society under one realm like the assets in Bitcoin Trader.”

Ambassador François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations in New York  said  that “the convergence of so many communities of faith is encouraging. The level of commitment of religious leaders in the fight against climate change and in support of the Paris Agreement is unprecedented. We are the last generation that has the capacity to prevent climate change from getting out of control with disastrous consequences. There is no Plan B, no Planet B “:

“Paris was just the beginning of a long and hard journey towards a carbon-free world,” Mr. Delattre continued, “but it was also a decisive juncture. COP 21 was a collective success and not just a French one, which showed the vitality of the United Nations system and multilateralism. Hard alternatives to choose are ahead, skepticism and unbridled cynicism continue. We need to continue to listen to our conscience, the reason why the community of believers is so important and so inspiring. “

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations in New York,  Dr. Abderrazak Laasel,  thanked the communities of faith for their involvement in climate change. “There are many possibilities to reduce greenhouse gases as part of the fight against climate change. It is very important that religious leaders create more awareness of the problem. There is a significant role for communication and education in the protection of natural resources, and it is important to strengthen contacts between faith communities and other groups. “

 (France and Morocco are co-presidents of the 22nd Conference of the Contracting Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Marrakech, Morocco 7-18 November 2016)

Halldor Thorgeirsson, Director de Estrategia del secretariado de la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático dijo que “estoy muy animado por la fuerte expresión de apoyo. Su Declaración demuestra que Vds. comprenden que evitar el cambio climático peligroso requiere una trasformación  económica fundamental, no sólo ajustes superficiales del sistema actual, llevándonos a una honda y eventualmente una total descarbonización del suministro de la energía. La transición conllevará numerosos beneficios adicionales y abre el camino hacia enormes oportunidades. Así que en este caso, los imperativos económicos y morales están completamente alineados.”

 “150 naciones firmarán el Acuerdo de Paris este viernes y su entrada en vigor es probable el año que viene. No lograremos sus objetivos sin la masiva movilización de todos los actores de la sociedad. Se necesita una honda movlización para el cambio – la religión puede continuar siendo una parte poderosa de la solución. Este reto ha inyectado una nueva urgencia en el dialogo entre las religiones.”

Según el Sr. Selwin Hart, Director del Equipo del Secretario-General sobre Cambio Climático “las comunidades de fe son esenciales para la promoción de los esfuerzos globales para enfrentar el reto del cambio climático. Sesenta jefes de estado o  de gobierno estarán entre las 150 naciones representadas a la ceremonia este viernes para la firma del Acuerdo de Paris – un record. Algunos pequeños países isleños depositarán sus instrumentos de ratificación el mismo día”.

El  Reverendo Mark Macdonald, Obispo para los pueblos indigenas, Iglesia Anglicana del Canada dijo que   “la comunión de todas las cosas es lo que está en jaque. Los pueblos indígenas se encuentran amenazados de manera excepcional por el cambio climático, aunque son los menos responsables de esta situación. El Acuerdo de Paris fue un comienzo pero somos llamados a ir más lejos. Les invito a todos que se establezca de nuevo dicha comunión y que logremos nuestra transformación moral”.

Hermana Gayatri, Representante ante las Naciones Unidas de los Brahma Kumaris informó que su organización con su socio el World Renewal Spiritual Trust habían organizado desde veinte años capacitación, investigación y desarrollo de las tecnologías de energías renovables, instalando y manejando centenares de cocinas solares y sistemas fotovoltaicos, tal como haber instalado India One, la central termal solar de 1Mw, parcialmente financiada por los gobiernos de India y Alemania. “Los Brahma Kumaris creen que la semilla de la renovación del mundo es el despertar de la conciencia – no sólo con las comunidades espirituales y religiosas pero como una capacidad colectiva de la humanidad”.

SS Radhanath Swami, Hindu, miembro de la Junta Directiva de la International Society for Krishna Consciousness indico que la ecología del planeta actual reflejaba la ecología de nuestros corazones. “El reto del cambio climático es una oportunidad para poner de lado nuestras diferencias y unirnos para instar a los líderes mundiales que adelanten políticas y acciones genuinas para honrar nuestro encargo sagrado”.

Tomás Insúa, Co-ordinador y Fundador del Movimiento Católico Global para en Clima (300 organizaciones) declaró que un grupo viajando hacia el Polo Norte llevando un ejemplar de la Encíclica del Papa sobre la ecología integral ´Laudato Si  está encontrando demoras causadas por grietas en el hielo lo que demuestra el estado severamente amenazado del hielo Árctico. “Estamos muy preocupados por el desfase entre las bellas palabras de los gobiernos y las acciones actuales. Esto es una crisis espiritual. Hacemos un llamamiento para la justicia climática hacia toda la humanidad y todas las especies”.

Otras declaraciones fueron hechas por la Presidenta Global de la Iniciativa Religiosa Unida, Kiran Bali, el Imán Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, Vice Presidente de la Alianza Musulmana de Norte América y el Dr. Kenjuitsu Nakagaki, Presidente del Consejo Budista de Nueva York.

El moderador del evento fue el Reverendo Fletcher Harper, Director Ejecutivo de GreenFaith, un centro basado en New Jersey, EE UU para capacitación y abogacía sobre temas medioambientales.

Las organizaciones que elaboraron y difundieron la Declaración y movilizaron las firmas de los dirigentes religiosos son: 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. Más información a www.interfaithstatement2016.org

INFORMACION PARA REDACTORES

Para más información contactar pressandpolicy@greenfaith.org   tel (USA) 929 389 9724. Se habla español

Ciara Shannon, Co-ordenadora de la Declaración  ciarashannon.hk@gmail.com tel: (Hong Kong) +852 62096775  se habla inglés

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

Credit: Paul Hunt – World Council of Churches.

THE GROUPS AND PEOPLE BEHIND THE INTERFAITH CLIMATE CHANGE STATEMENT 2016 JOINT COLLABORATION

The drafting and dissemination of the Interfaith Climate Change Statement 2016 and the related event on April 18th 2016, have been facilitated by GreenFaith in joint collaboration with representatives from: 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 and World Council of Churches.

WORKING GROUP MEMBERS

  • ACT Alliance – Mariana Poali, Mattias Söderberg and Isaiah Kipyegon Toroitich
  • Bhumi Project – Mat McDermott and Gopal Patel
  • Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University – Sister Valériane Bernard (& UN Interfaith Liaison Committee representative)
  • Catholic Earthcare Australia and the Multifaith Association of South Australia – Philippa Rowland
  • EcoSikh – Ravneet Singh
  • Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective (GBCCC) – Sister True Dedication and Ciara Shannon
  • Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) – Tomas Insua and Marie Venner
  • GreenFaith – Nana Firman, Rev. Fletcher Harper, Vanya Walker-Leigh, Alex Price, Ciara Shannon (Coordinator)
  • Islamic Relief Worldwide – Lotifa Belgum
  • Lutheran World Federation (LWF) – Caroline Bader and Martin Kopp
  • Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhists – Sister True Dedication
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Social Justice Organizing Program – Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
  • World Council of Churches (WCC) – Rev. Henrik GrapeINVESTMENT MODES
    • Donations from individuals and organizations
    • Loans at discounted rates from financial firms and debt providers
    • Research organizations to study about the course of the event
    • Government funds to hold the event in continuation
    • Digital currencies and foreign currencies through transfer channels, digital wallets and trading platforms like Quantum Code and currency exchange.

ABOUT THE ORGANISATIONS

ACT Alliance – A coalition of 147 churches and faith-based organisations working together in over 140 countries to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people. It runs the Act Now for Climate Justice campaign.

Bhumi Project – Based at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, The Bhumi Project uses Hindu teachings and perspectives to work with Hindu temples, communities and leaders to take a more active role in the care and protection of our natural world.

Catholic Earthcare Australia – Is the ecological agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Their vision is for an ecologically sustainable and resilient Australia, where Catholic communities play an active part in the holistic care of social, human and environmental ecology.

Brahma Kumaris – A worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal. Founded in India in 1937, Brahma  Kumaris has spread to over 110 countries on all continents and has had an extensive impact in many sectors as an international NGO.

EcoSikh – EcoSikh connects Sikh values, beliefs, and institutions to the most important environmental issues facing our world. We draw on the rich tradition of the Sikh Gurus and the Khalsa Panth to shape the behavior and outlook of Sikhs and the world, ensuring that our deep reverence for all creation remains a central part of the Sikh way of life.

Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective (GBCCC) – A number of Buddhist and Interfaith climate groups who came together in September 2015 to facilitate a Buddhist contribution to COP21 and beyond and to facilitate the Buddhist community to collectively take action on climate change.

Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) – Represents tens of thousands of lay Catholics and 100 Catholic organisations responding to the Papal encyclical.

GreenFaith – GreenFaith’s mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership.  Our work is internationally based and we believe that protecting the earth is a religious value, and that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.

Islamic Relief Worldwide – An independent humanitarian and development organisation with a presence in over 40 countries around the globe.

Lutheran World Federation is a global communion of 145 churches in the Lutheran tradition, representing over 72 million Christians in 98 countries.

The Multifaith Association of South Australia seeks a real meeting of hearts and minds among members of different spiritual beliefs and cultures.  It is affiliated with the Charter for Compassion, Religions for Peace Australia, United Religions Initiative and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhists – Founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, there are monastic practice centers in the Plum Village tradition in Europe, the USA and Asia.

Reconstructionist Rabbinical College – Social Justice Organizing program at RRC trains rabbis to be Jewish leaders in bringing about a socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling society. It is the first specialized academic track at a Jewish seminary to focus on justice organizing.

World Council of Churches – The WCC is a fellowship of 345 member churches who together represent more than half a billion Christians around the world. Including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches.

[DRAFT] STATEMENT BY RELIGIOUS AND FAITH 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, 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.The benignant purport of any social event depends on how sincerely and transparently, awareness is spread among the communities in focus. The tool or rather the medium used by the COP22 Statement is the persuasive leadership of the communities and faith which otherwise tend to divide the citizens just on the basis of faith. You can distinguish the robots in Top 10 Crypto Robots based on their features but you cannot distinguish between different faiths on account of which is more soothing for the believers or which give the holiest teachings.

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 roadmaps 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 greater ecological awareness and 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, the sustainer of all life on Earth. 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, including within our own communities.

 

SIGNATORIES

 

Name Title,  Affiliation Country

 


[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)

Sign now

You can add your name to the Interfaith Climate Change Statement (2016) as an individual, or as an organisation, community or group.

The name can be entered as a full-term investor, a small-term investor, a participant or a volunteer. We value and more than us, our earth values any kind of contribution from your side. Give your name to be included in our list of signatories and become a part of our Interfaith community, crossing boundaries and seas. Although this membership is not as high-profile as the inclusion of your name in the Crypto VIP Club, you can get the same level of immense satisfaction of being associated with probably the biggest action towards a greener and safer earth till now.

No complex policy changes, no strict enforcement of laws and no abiding by top officials. This event revolves around the propagation of use of renewable resources, environment- saving activities and ecosystem stabilizing practices that you can follow, under the guidance of our faith leaders and self-conscience. A single solar panel on your rooftop will reduce the burden on our electricity bill, powerhouse and our small world and you might need to spend a pinch of extra money for a lifetime benefit. If you want to record this step in the history of green movements, forward us a signature and you will be an inspiration to many.

“Why did you keep that panel?” your neighbor will ask and the reply you give can motivate him also to follow the same path of green energy and clean earth.  Our list has sufficient space to add his name also and his neighbor and so on. If you are the chosen representative of your locality or community, then the impact you can create is beyond a signature. Encourage group activities with a single step by introducing renewable sources of energy and sustainable practices and the nearby community will get inspired by you.

Paste a photograph of our event being supported by an influential faith follower of your area and it is sure to make many heads turn in the right direction. Initiate the change in your organization and trigger off the chain reaction towards a global action for sustaining humanity and a healthy world.

 

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Your name along with those of religious leaders and other people of faith from around the world, will be handed over toPresident of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark at an official event in New York on 18th April, 2016.

The Interfaith Climate Change Statement outlines a positive judgement of the adopted Paris Agreement and urges its prompt signature and ratification by governments so that it can come into force as soon as possible. It also insists that there is a significant increase in the current levels of ambition relating to emission reductions, financial flows, adaptation, loss and damage and a swift phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, so as to keep temperatures within reach of 1.5C.

The clean and green energy sources like wind energy, solar energy, and tidal energy use the natural flow of these resources and just transform this energy into electromechanical energy. No greenhouse gases are released in the process and no toxic byproducts find their way into the earth. The first and the prominent step is to find investors for the new events which can turn the climate change direction towards a more favorable one for the world and its inhabitants. The strength of the event does not rest solely on these investors. Anyone can contribute in any form since every drop counts and we have an ocean of responsibilities towards our mother earth and humanity. When you solve a puzzle using Ethereum Code and earn a virtual coin, donate a part of its value, at least once and you become one of our honored investors.

The Statement also serves to renew the strong commitment of the faith community to remain active in defining the moral responsibility to care for the Earth and encourages faith communities to reduce emissions, divest and reinvest in renewables.

SIX KEY POINTS 

  1. 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
  2. Insist on rapid emissions reduction and peaking by 2020, in order to keep the 1.5C goal within reach
  3. Strongly advocate for greater flows of finance, especially for adaptation and loss and damage
  4. Urge the swift phase out of all fossil fuel subsidies and a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050
  5. 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
  6. Call for fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in renewables, including within our own communities

NY Event

OFFICIAL STATEMENT HANDOVER EVENT ON 18th APRIL 2016 at the United Nations Church Centre, New York

On 18th April 2016, the Statement will be officially handed over by eminent religious leaders to the President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark at an event at the United Nations Church Centre, near the UN Headquarters, New York from 11am -12pm.

The handing over will open a new chapter in the big open of the United Nations on the practical measures to fight climate change due to increasing pollution, the release of greenhouse gases and indiscriminate disruption of natural ecosystems. Many associations and wings were created by including government representatives, legal experts, climate scientists and planning members. The activities of these bodies are still undergoing progress and have been relentlessly continuing to meet the pace they targeted at various stages. River cleaning projects, reduction of greenhouse emissions, afforestation etc are being carried out in different pocket regions, under the guidance of a local body or social organizations. However, none of these efforts have created a more mass effect strong enough to stir a collective effort over wider horizons. And, this is exactly what the numerous efforts fall short of achieving the desired result.

When you start a project of river cleaning, it is not limited to a single region. The river flows through various locations, various communities and sometimes more than one country. Hence, the cleaning project should cover the entire length of its flow for producing the benefit. Similarly, when you take an action to save a particular ecosystem, only when all the related ecosystems are also considered, the true effect comes into place.

The statement is supported by the top leaders of various faiths, combining the people belonging to multiple nations, social and economic strata and religion. With such a powerful medium of communication capable of exerting big influence, the current plan can bridge the gap between the existing activities to improve the earth’s ecosystem. It can act as a harmonium string to coordinate all such steps towards a common goal. This is essential for improving the impact of the statement as we saw in the case of Bitcoin Society App contributing to the global trading platform. When it gets into the official plan chart of the United Nations, it will get a better agenda of proceeding further to really gather sincere efforts of climate restoration under a single, global realm.

A press conference will follow immediately after the event.

FAQ

  • 1. What are the key points of the Paris Agreement?
  • 2. How important is it that governments sign and ratify the Paris Agreement and when must they do it by?
  • 3. What do you mean by rapid emission cuts, in line with the 1.5C goal?
  • 4. What does GHG neutrality mean?
  • 5. Explain more about financing
  • 6. Explain more about adaptation, loss and damage
  • 7. Explain more about phasing out fossil fuel subsidies
  • 8. Explain more about Divestment and Reinvestment from a Faith Context
  • 9. What is the Faith World Doing about Climate Change?
  • 10. How are Faith Based Organisations Reducing Emissions?

1. WHAT ARE THE KEY POINTS OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT?

In Paris on December 12th 2015, the 21st Conference of Parties (196 nations)  to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (COP 21) adopted an historic agreement to combat climate change that will spur actions and investment towards a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future.(For details see www.unfccc.int)  It is the first climate agreement that joins all nations in a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities. The main aim as described in Article 2 is to keep the global temperature rise this century to well below 2C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen capability to deal with the impacts of climate change and to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. Countries furthermore aim to reach “global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible”.

2. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT GOVERNMENTS SIGN AND RATIFY THE PARIS AGREEMENT AND WHEN MUST THEY DO IT BY?

It is very important that countries quickly sign and ratify the adopted Paris Agreement so as to achieve the 1.5C goal.   The measures set out in the Paris Agreement are supposed to start in 2020. There will be a high-level signing ceremony hosted by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in New York on 22nd April 2016. Governments have one year to sign the Agreement, but there is not a time limit to ratify. The Paris Agreement will only come into force after at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting for at least an estimated 55% of total global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the Agreement. Ratification means that Parties´ legislatures have incorporated the entire Agreement into national law.   Once the 55/55 threshold is secured, entry into force will lay the legal basis for ensuring the long term durability of the Agreement and put us on a path to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, safe and resilient future.Some degree of preparation is necessary for every activity, for it takes time to build up the momentum so as to proceed forward without much interruption. When you decide to trade through a crypto wallet like Ethereum Code, if you do not even know which is the cryptocurrency you are getting here or what are uses of altcoins for you, at any point of time in the midst of trading, you might have to stop by for a look at the currencies. The one year is an ample preparatory time for working for the earth. Future UNFCCC COPs will take decisions relating to the implementation of the Agreement, developing certain procedures only sketched out in the text. A preparatory Committee for the entry into force of the Agreement will hold its first meeting in May 2016 at the UNFCCC´s intersessional meeting in Bonn.

It was very positive to see Fiji become the first country to ratify the agreement in February 2016. In the same month, Fiji experienced the worst storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. Cyclone Winston left 42 people dead and left more than 50,000 people seeking refuge in makeshift shelters.

3. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY RAPID EMISSION CUTS, IN LINE WITH THE 1.5C GOAL?

The Paris Agreement put in place an important process for countries to increase the ambition of their post 2020 climate plans, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), every five years in order to achieve the long-term goals of the Agreement.  However, so far the climate plans submitted by 189 countries, which together represent over 98% of global greenhouse gas emissions put us on a dangerous pathway to a temperature increase of 2.7 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels.

Global emissions reduction need to scale up swiftly, now and over the next few decades, if we are to achieve the 1.5C goal.

According to the World Resources Institute[1] –

To have a likely chance of limiting warming to below 2 degrees C, we need to reduce GHG emissions according to the following timeframe:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions have to drop to net zero between 2060 and 2075
  • Total GHG emissions need to decline to net zero between 2080 and 2090

To achieve GHG neutrality with a likely chance of limiting warming to below 1.5 degrees C, we need to reduce GHG emissions according to the following timeframe:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions have to drop to net zero between 2045 and 2050
  • Total GHG emission need to decline to net zero between 2060 and 2080”

Pre-2020 action is vital. The implementing decision adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP) accompanying  the Paris Agreement itself also includes a set of elements to “ensure the highest possible mitigation efforts in the pre-2020 period. Pre-2020 actions are essential.  Some 85 nations made pre-2020 emission reduction commitments at the 2010 COP, which however were way below what scientists said were needed by 2020. Since then, there have been no improvements to these commitments. The focus of the developed countries for the pre-2020 period has largely been on technical expert meetings and high-level events, often termed by developing countries as “talk-shops that do not focus on any real action”. The next five years matter tremendously and we need to urge for concrete climate action pre- 2020.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued five Assessment Reports (the most recent in 2014) relating to the science of climate change. These reports are signed off by governments. (www.ipcc.ch)

[1] COP21 Q&A: What is GHG Emissions Neutrality in the Context of the Paris Agreement, Kelly Levin et al., WRI, December 11, 2015

4. WHAT DOES GHG NEUTRALITY MEAN?

GHG neutrality aims for a net emissions of zero, achieved by reducing emissions through a global shift away from fossil fuels and a massive uptake of renewable energy worldwide, and then offsetting any remaining emissions with an equivalent amount of removal and sequestration, whether through use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage or mass planting of trees. Such measures would have to be carefully balanced against other land use requirements. There is concern that GHG neutrality could mean that the world will continue to produce emissions, as long as there is a way to “offset” them, also raising fears that this leaves the door wide open to dangerous GEO engineering techniques, massive land grabs for deforestation projects.

5. EXPLAIN MORE ABOUT FINANCING

At the Copenhagen Conference in 2009, and then in Cancún in 2010, developed countries committed to “mobilize” US$100 billion per year in private and public climate funding for developing countries by 2020. At COP21, this commitment was reintroduced as  as an implementing decision (not the Paris Agreement), setting US$100 billion as a minimum level, to be set post- 2025.

Many developing countries lack the necessary finance, skills and knowledge to undertake climate mitigation and adaptation actions. A clear road-map with collective quantified targets for the scaling up of finance, including for adaptation and loss and damage, as well as a reference to alternative sources of financing, such as a carbon tax on marine and air transport or a financial transaction tax, are needed

 

6. EXPLAIN MORE ABOUT ADAPTATION, LOSS AND DAMAGE

Adaptation is a cross-cutting and integrated issue. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) definition of adaptation states: “The process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In some natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects.” This requires an integrated approach as regards both built and natural systems – including networked infrastructure (piped water, drains, roads, electricity), services (including public transport, health care, emergency services) and through ecosystem- based adaptation to safeguard water supplies and to buffer expected enhanced erosion and coastal flooding risks caused by rising sea levels and increased  storm surges.

Loss and damage is about dealing with the financial impacts of extreme weather events as well as slow-onset events for which adaptation measures are not feasible. However it is not a new issue, it has been on the UNFCCC table since 1991. It was originally proposed by the small island state of Vanuatu as an insurance process to compensate against sea level rise. The adopted Paris Agreement gave breakthrough legal recognition to the concept of loss and damage (there had already been a COP decision about it in 2013), but did not incorporate any mention of liability or compensation, which developing countries advocated but developed nations opposed (as being the countries responsible for climate change).

7. EXPLAIN MORE ABOUT PHASING OUT FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES

If we are to have a likely chance to achieve the 1.5C goal, we need to phase out all fossil fuels. However, fossil fuel subsidies are a major obstacle to full decarbonisation and despite the enormous threat climate change poses, countries keep subsidizing fossil fuels. The International Monetary Fund estimated that energy subsidies totalled US$5.3 trillion in 2015, or 6.5 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product. Eliminating subsidies would cut emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, by more than 20 per cent a year, according to the IMF. Another benefit would be to reallocate government revenue, (ie savings from eliminating the subsidies) to invest in health care, renewable energy, mass transit and other public services. The International Energy Agency has established an on-line database ‌to increase the availability and transparency of energy subsidy data as an essential step in building momentum for global fossil-fuel subsidy reform. The issue has been under consideration by the G-20 (the world´s 20 largest economies) since 2008 but there has been little action so far.

8. EXPLAIN MORE ABOUT DIVESTMENT AND REINVESTMENT FROM A FAITH CONTEXT

Many religious traditions share values regarding the ethical use of financial resources and religious groups around the globe are taking action to divest away from fossil fuels and reinvest into renewables and energy efficiency. The Divest & Reinvest Now! Campaign is mobilizing faith communities to support fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in a clean energy future. – see here for further information.

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, 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.

3) Prayers and Vigils: In monasteries, churches 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. 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

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 the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, reducing our consumption in general, using public transport, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights and putting profit before good. Many faith group organise 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.

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.

 

 

 

10. HOW ARE FAITH BASED ORGANISATIONS REDUCING EMISSIONS?

Faith communities have an important role to play in pressing for changes in behaviour to reduce emissions, at every level of society. All of us need to make more eco-friendly choices and change our habits and take better care of our Earth. Reducing emissions is a responsibility of religious communities as well.

Many churches, temples, synagogues etc. already have various eco-friendly initiatives in place, but often do not communicate this. There are many inspiring examples of faith organisations reducing emissions in their places of worship. Solar electric panels and solar water heating are common choices for renewable energy being installed in churches, temples, schools, other buildings and in parking areas.

Recent examples include:

1) The Global Catholic Climate Movement is launching an Eco-Parish Guide (April 2016) directed at Catholic parishes globally to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, the Eco-Parish guide offers an active response to Pope Francis’ call for climate change action in his encyclical, Laudato Si’.  Many of the steps to reduce emissions are possible to follow without needing too much expertise and come within budget. All of these energy efficient steps can also be implemented in a temple, mosque, synagogue etc. It is important to also involve members of the congregation to help reduce emissions.

2) World’s Largest Community Kitchen at Golden Temple Will Now Serve Organic Langar (March 2016)- the Guru Ramdas Langar Hall at Sri Harmandir Sahib (popularly known as the Golden Temple) – one of the world’s largest community kitchens that feeds up to 100,000 people everyday, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week for free, is raising the bar even further by serving organic ‘langar’ to their devotees.

Dr Rajwant Singh, founder and president of EcoSikh, a non-profit organisation working to raise awareness about environmental issues and inspiring farmers to focus on producing food through organic means, said that they are now hoping that around 25,000-30,000 gurdwaras in Punjab will follow suit to serve organic langar.

Organic farming systems generally use soil management practices that offer the best opportunities to reduce GHG emissions, build soil organic carbon (SOC) and sequester atmospheric carbon. Among the most promising are: reduction/elimination of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer applications; use of organic fertilizers and cover crops and conservation tillage.

3) In February 2016, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, endorsed a new campaign called the ‘Big Church Switch’ encouraging Christians to choose renewable energy tariffs. The campaign, launched by Christian Aid and Tearfund on Ash Wednesday in the hope to spur hundreds of thousands of Christians to switch energy suppliers.

4) Brahma Kumaris: For almost 20 years, Brahma Kumaris and its sister organization, the World Renewal Spiritual Trust (WRST), a recognized scientific and industrial research organization in India, have been conducting training, research and development in renewable energy technologies. They has done pioneering work in solar energy and sustainable energy, including developing the world’s largest solar cooker. ‘India One’, a 1 MW solar thermal power plant situated near the Brahma Kumaris Shantivan Campus in Abu Road, Rajasthan, India, is due to be completed in 2016. The plant will generate enough heat and power for a campus of 25,000 people and is a milestone for decentralized and clean power generation in India. See video here

CONTACT US

The Green side of faith is the need of the hour. We start the fight to save our planet, our human race and our humanity. Humans are on the top of the food chain and on the emotional chain an if we are able to direct human emotions towards the benefit of every single form of life in their natural eco-system, then half the job is done. If countries can turn foe in the name of faith and communities can kill each other in the name of religion, the ideal way to channel all these negative energies into a positive direction is to unite them in the name of faith.

Religions are led and spread by leaders, like in every association. We have these leaders engage in mutual dialogues with each other advocating their followers to support the cause of reversing climate change. The people who have faith in one religion may be following the teachings of that particular faith and so do others. When all of them stand for one practice, the methods for reviving the health of our planet, to help other living beings survive fearlessly, we need awareness that can penetrate through all kinds of shields, spread across all forms of boundaries and create a real mass initiative. The initiative should not die out, it has to continue endlessly and help people realize that the true meaning of faith is to stand for each other and remain unified, instead of fighting to survive.

There is an opportunistic notion among the vast majority of world citizens that as a single person they cannot contribute towards a greener earth and if as one person is throwing a plastic cover on the soil or emit greenhouse gases via a single vehicle, it will not create any appreciable difference to the climate. The point to be remembered by every one of us here is that if all the citizens think erstwhile on both sides, the mass effect is going to drive the climate towards the uninhabitable level at an accelerated rate.

If you think in a reverse way, on seeing one of doing the right way, the observers will be eager to follow you and the cumulative effect is sure to be pleasing for our future. If one person found tremendous success by using the Tesler App, he can confidently encourage others to use it and the remaining will be happy to follow the same path. So, be ready to be the good change and you will be soon in the majority crowd.

If you have questions or enquiries, please contact: director@greenfaith.org