Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Message from Melbourne to Copenhagen

Message from members of the religions of the world gathered at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

We, from the major faith communities of the world, meeting at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Melbourne, Australia, from 3rd to 9th December 2009, send warm greetings to all who are gathering at Copenhagen for your crucially important Conference. We wish to assure you that prayers are being lifted up around the world for this meeting as we recognize that climate change is the single most important issue presently confronting us and the entire Earth community.

Climate change and other critical environmental crises are intricately linked with the financial crisis. We call on all nations of the world, particularly the rich, to recognize humanity’s dependency on the natural environment and therefore on the health and well-being of the planet and seek solutions with the utmost urgency for the global environmental and economic systems.

We therefore call for a meaningful agreement that places the well-being of people and planet before profit.

We believe a dramatic reduction of carbon emissions is possible using the natural energy of the planet, which comes from renewable resources such as the sun, wind, waves, biogas. Therefore we call for a commitment to an immediate turning from reliance on fossil fuel energy and a planned and phased decline in its use in order to bring CO2 emissions down to 350 ppm.

We believe there is a moral imperative for rich countries to reduce carbon emissions and share wealth and skills with developing countries to adapt to climate change and build their economies sustainably

Climate justice is essential for a sustainable future. Either we follow the moral principles of justice, upheld by all faith communities, and share equitably the resources of the world, or we continue to consume excessively, resulting in ever more conflict and environmental destruction.

We, religious leaders of the world, therefore call on the governments of the world to implement the following resolution:


  • As people of faith, we believe we have a responsibility to the source of life and to future generations to care for this planet – our home. We therefore call on the governments of the world when they meet at the UNFCCC at Copenhagen to take urgent and meaningful action to stem climate change.

  • Following the latest scientific evidence we believe we cannot allow temperatures to rise by 2 degrees. We therefore call for a reduction of CO2 emissions to a target of 350 ppm, ensuring that emissions will have peaked by 2015 in all countries, to then decline to at least 85% below 1990 levels by 2050.

We pray wisdom and courage to do what is right.

Issued by Bishop Geoff Davies on behalf of all who endorsed it at the Parliament of the World’s Religions meeting in Melbourne, 3 – 9 December 2009

Contact: geoff.davies@safcei.org.za (Mobile:++27 83 754 5275)

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