Faith leaders from across the religious spectrum have challenged global political, faith and business leaders to sign on to the call of President of the Republic of The Kiribati, Anote Tong, for a moratorium on all new coal mines and expansions.

Thea Ormerod, President of the multi-faith Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), said: “Pope Francis in his encyclical, and Muslim leaders at the Islamic Climate Summit in Istanbul, are recent examples of how religious leaders have been speaking out about the great global challenge of climate change.”

“The future for our children and theirs, and especially for the world’s most vulnerable such as in the low lying islands of Kiribati, ultimately depends on real action being taken now,” she said. “Meaningful action on climate is plainly incompatible with the continued expansion and opening up of coal reserves.”

“Each new coal mine undermines the spirit and intent of any agreement we may reach. To avoid catastrophic climate change, we must leave the vast bulk of carbon reserves in the ground,” President Tong wrote to world leaders in a letter sent last week.

“Many of our world leaders claim to be people of faith yet their collective failure to act according to the expert advice on climate change is morally reprehensible,” said Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Environmental Adviser to the Council of Progressive Rabbis.

“The present situation demands that they agree that when it comes to coal, we simply must stop digging,” he added.

“We as leaders of faith are calling for all people of conscience to support the Kiribati President’s urgent call for action and ensure that people across communities, across the world take part in making his vision a reality, his country’s future, and many more are depending on it,” said Professor Nihal Agar, Chair of the Hindu Council of Australia.

“Global warming isn’t just a theory in many places across this fragile planet of ours, it’s lapping at people’s doorsteps. The world desperately needs to stop extracting fossil fuels from the ground and accelerate investment in renewable energies,” said Bishop Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.

You can learn more about the campaign here: http://www.nonewcoalmines.org.au

ARRCC is a multi-faith, member-based organisation of people from around Australia who are committed to taking action on climate change. Our members represent a variety of religious traditions. We believe that as people dedicated to the common good, inspired by our beliefs and energised by our spirituality, people of all faiths can and should be at the forefront of creating a safe climate. While celebrating the uniqueness of our different traditions, we stand together in working for an ecologically and socially sustainable future. http://www.arrcc.org.au

Full list of signatories:

  • Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Environmental Adviser to the Council of Progressive Rabbis
  • Bishop Professor Stephen Pickard, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture
  • Professor Nihal Agar, Chair of the Hindu Council of Australia
  • Thea Ormerod, President of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)

Spokespersons for media:

Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Environmental Adviser to the Council of Progressive Rabbis E: jonathan@kerenblack.com

Bishop Stephen Pickard, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture E: spickard@csu.edu.au
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