(11 September 2017) Some 25,000 people have signed a petition led by faith communities calling for stronger action on climate change. Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus have been pounding the nation’s pavements collecting signatures in mosques, churches, high schools and local businesses in what may be one of the largest grassroots, multi-electorate climate petitions in our nation’s history.
According to last year’s census, 60 percent of Australians identify with a religion and this electorate based ‘Community Climate Petition’, an old style pen and paper petition driven on the ground by individuals of multiple faiths has already reached 94 electorates.
In a symbol of unity at 12 noon on Wednesday, 6th September, faith leaders from the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Quaker and Christi an communities will gather on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra to call for strong bi-partisan action on climate change.
Philippa Rowland, the President of the Multi-Faith Association of South Australia who attended the global climate talks in Paris and Marrakesh, at which faith groups from around the world united before the urgent challenge of climate change called on all governments to take swift action to reduce emissions.
“Australian Politicians from all parties bear the responsibility to work for the common good, and must swiftly work together to address climate change as a global emergency,” said Mrs Rowland.
The petitions call upon our political leaders to support deeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a faster transition to a clean energy economy and better support for our poorest neighbours grappling with the impacts of climate change.
For Negaya Chorley, Caritas Australia’s Head of Advocacy, there is both a “moral imperative” and an urgent need to take action.
“The impacts of climate change are increasingly being felt across Australia and the world, including extreme weather events of greater frequency and ferocity, an alarming depletion in our natural heritage including the Great Barrier Reef and drought induced famines affecting millions of people,’ said Ms Chorley.
“This year is an important one with the Australian Government reviewing its climate change policies. The petition is an example of the widespread community support for stronger emissions targets.”
Media contact: Nicole Clements on 0408 869 833 or Susan Duric on 0407 536 130.
The Community Climate Petition is supported by a coalition of faith based organisations including the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Caritas Australia, Catholic Earthcare, Common Grace, Edmund Rice Centre, Pacific Calling Partnership, TEAR Australia and the Uniting Church in Australia.
Read the related media release from Caritas published on 20 September 2017, "Caritas responds to a range of humanitarian disasters being fuelled by climate change".Caritas responds to a range of humanitarian disasters being fuelled by climate change".