Representatives of religious faiths, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism assembled at the foot of Parliament Hill in London on 13 November to offer their voices in a call for politicians and negotiators at the UN Climate Conference COP27, held this week in Egypt, to work for the benefit of humanity.
Simultaneously, in locations around the world, religious leaders gathered to urge world leaders to act for climate repentance and to act in accordance with the Ten Principles for Climate Repentance, abbreviated here:
• We are stewards of this world
• Creation manifests divinity
• Everything in life is interconnected
• Do no harm
• Look after tomorrow
• Rise above ego for our world
• Change our inner climate
• Repent and return
• Every action matters
• Use mind, open heart
“As religious leaders we offer our voice as a contribution to the gathered leaders (at COP27) and to humanity,” former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams told those gathered in London. “We must also confront honestly the destructive habits which continue to limit the possibilities and the hopes of human beings, in a call for wake up and self-examination.” (Evening Standard)
Later the same day, the faith leaders also took part in a two-hour multi-faith Climate Repentance Ceremony at a synagogue in North London.
Prior to the ceremony, Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein, the event’s organizer, stated: “In order to cope with climate change we need to be transformed. We need to not simply make political decisions, we need to change our hearts, and to change our hearts, that’s the business of religion.” He added that global leaders needed to understand “that they’re not negotiating on behalf of a country or set of interests, but on behalf of a deeper vision of humanity and how it’s placed in the world.” (Evening Standard)
Climate activist Yosef Abramowitz, a co-initiator of the event, said: “Religious leaders from around the world are issuing an unequivocal call to world leaders and citizens to take responsibility and act with urgency to make the immediate switch to life-affirming good energy. We have pioneered 100 per cent solar power from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea and have demonstrated that it is technologically possible and economically advantageous. COP27 should not endorse incrementalism. Religion can power hope and action; green energy can power the planet.” (PR Newswire)
On 3 November, Israeli religious leaders gathered for an interfaith conference at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jerusalem, ahead of COP27. The conference was organized in collaboration with the Israeli non-governmental organization the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development.
The conference emphasized the role of religious leadership in tackling climate change with the intention of enabling religious groups around the world to promote the use of renewable energy. Participants adopted the Jerusalem Climate Declaration, which calls for urgent action to mitigate climate change.
Religious leaders talk climate action in Israel ahead of COP27 (AL-Monitor)
Religious leaders join world-first inter-faith ceremony on climate change (Evening Standard)
Global religious leaders promote climate action during UN climate conference COP 27 (PR Newswire)
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