Interfaith Statements or Key Documents on Climate Change

The call for climate action and climate change statements from faith communities grows louder by the day. In 2014 and 2015, there were many faith statements in the run up to COP21. A major climate change statement was also signed at COP22 in November 2016 with the endorsement of 303 faith leaders.

Bahá’í

Brahma Kumaris

Buddhism

  • The Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders (October 29, 2015). Signed by HH Dalai Lama, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, HH the 17th Karmapa and Supreme Heads of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mongolia. Cambodia, the Russian Federation and the President of the Buddhist Association, USA.
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Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera from Sri Lanka hands the Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders to Pres. Hollande on Dec 20th, 2015 at the Elysee Palace

Christianity – Many churches have issued statements urging action.

  • 17 Anglican (episcopal) bishops wrote a declaration (March 2015): The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice can be found here.

Catholicism

  • Appeal of Catholic Cardinals, Patriarchs and Bishops to COP 21 (26th October, 2015) 
  • Pope Francis released his encyclical  “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home” on 18th June 2015. The significance of the encyclical is described here.
  • Continental Bishops Statement on Climate Change in Lima (2014)

Eastern Orthodox Church,

  • His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, made his views clear on World Environment Day, 2009.

The Presbyterian Church

  • In the US released a resolution called “The Power to Change: U.S. Energy Policy and Global Warming” (2008)

Hinduism

  • A Hindu Declaration on Climate Change, November 23, 2015
  • A Hindu Climate Change Declaration was made in 2009, saying that “the Hindu tradition understands that man is not separate from nature.”

Interfaith

  • COP22 Interfaith Statement on Climate Change, November 10th 2016
  • Interfaith Climate Change Statement to World Leaders, April 18th 2016
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The  Interfaith Climate Change Statement was officially handed over to H.E.Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly at the UN Church Centre, NY, on April 18th, 2016. Photo credit: Paul Hunt/ WCC

  • The Statement of Faith and Spiritual Leaders, October 20th, 2015
  • Lambeth Declaration 2015 on Climate Change, June 16th, 2015
  • Interfaith Summit Statement, September 21, 2014

Judaism – Hundreds of Rabbis have joined together to tell us that “Earth needs not only the joyful human voice but also the healing human hand,” in a Rabbinic letter on the Climate Crisis.

Islam

  • Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change (August 18, 2015). The Declaration calls for a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels, a switch to 100% renewable energy, and increased support for vulnerable communities already suffering from climate impacts.
  • An Islamic Faith Statement tells us that we are “the only creation of Allah to be entrusted with the overall responsibility of maintaining planet Earth in the overall balanced ecology that man found.” (2003)

Sikhism – EcoSikh released a Sikh perspective on climate change in 2014.

Common Themes: Among declarations from Islam, Catholics, Buddhist and the Bahá’ís are the link between poverty and climate change, and that these are both symptoms of an underlying spiritual illness, requiring a significant transformation in the materialistic economy. They accept the science of climate change, combined with a spiritual message of responsibility to act, to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

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