The Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders Climate Change Statement – Hong Kong

On January 23rd 2015, the Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders in Hong Kong issued a multi-faith climate change statement involving several of Hong Kong’s most influential religious leaders. Signatories include: The Most Venerable Chi Wai, the president of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, His Eminence Cardinal John Tong Hon (bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong), Master Leung Tak Wah (chairman of the Hong Kong Daoist Association), Reverend Yuen Tin Yau (chairperson of the Hong Kong Christian Council), Dr. Tong Yun Kai (president of the Confucian Academy), and Mr. Sat Che Sang Ibrahim (chairman of the Chinese Muslim Cultural and Fraternal Association).

This high level multi-faith statement, which is the first of its kind in Hong Kong (and Asia), commits the six senior religious heads to accepting the scientific findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) and their conclusion that greenhouse gas emissions will cause devastating climate change at their current rate.

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The statement declares, “We, The Colloquium of Six Religious Leaders of Hong Kong, believe we have a shared responsibility for our planet. We must care for it as guardians of creation, so it continues to support not just ourselves, but the generations of life on earth to come.” According to the document, a global rise in temperature beyond two degrees Celsius will have “catastrophic consequences—threatening all of us and the natural world.”

The statement calls on world governments to act, noting that the least developed countries are at highest risk even with a rapid and decisive reduction in greenhouse emissions. It closes with a joint appeal from the six leaders to focus on “our shared responsibility rather than our differences,”  in reference to the deep disagreements between wealthy and poor nations that have been a major stumbling block to the UN climate negotiations.

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