Islamic Relief is proud to join dozens of other faith organisations and faith leaders in calling for more action from world leaders at COP25 in Madrid.
Faith communities demand climate justice –
Interfaith declaration on Climate Change for COP 25 Madrid, 2019
The response from those in power to the climate crisis has been inadequate and slow. From our different faiths, including our many communities already experiencing the harmful and destructive consequences of climate change, we are deeply concerned about the current inaction. The billions of people joining this interfaith call are outraged over the injustice that short-term extraction and GHG emissions create to our common home and humanity.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that with urgent and unprecedented climate action we still have the chance to stabilize global surface temperatures at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. This would prevent enormous loss of life and suffering for millions, save hundreds of thousands of species from extinction, and allow the survival of many sensitive eco-systems. Every day of delay brings us all closer to failure.
The legally-binding Paris Agreement must be implemented with concrete and rights-based action. Short-term political wins and economic gains injure the spirit of cooperation of the Paris Agreement. The failure of nearly all governments to embrace sufficient climate action needed to stabilize temperatures to a 1.5C limit is a failure of humanity to act.
Knowledge and technologies exist for renewable energy, resilient farming methods, and sustainable consumption patterns. Yet we see a growing number of leaders in governments and businesses, particularly in the fossil fuel and industrial agriculture sectors, supporting unproven forms of climate engineering. This profound moral hazard singles out symptoms and fails to address the political, cultural and economic causes of the climate crisis. Still there are nature-based solutions are essential to addressing the climate crisis, particularly the protection, restoration and sustainable management of the world’s tropical forests.
Former COP25 host Chile lived the consequences of its extractivist and neoliberal model. over the last few weeks as its people rose up. The repression used by the government in reaction shows that human rights and the rights of nature are intrinsically connected. We are all part of the earth and respect for our integrity is at the heart of the struggle for a socio-economic system that honours life. The climate crisis is also a cultural and spiritual crisis.
We promote a systemic and spiritual change which translates into economic and political transformations in the ways we produce, consume, and live. Our lifestyles and government policies must respect the limits of the planet. This calls us to defend the most vulnerable in our world. In the transformations we need, the voices of excluded groups, such as women, people of colour, indigenous peoples, workers, and youth are especially important. As people of faith we share the understanding that life is a gift given to us. Faith traditions from all over the world can be the pivotal force to deliver intergenerational, just, and inclusive transformation that honors and repairs humanity’s connection to Mother Earth.
As faith communities we offer an empowering voice of hope over fear, of compassion over indifference, and urgent and fair action as a moral obligation. We encourage personal and political responsibility, immediate and just climate action, sufficient climate finance from the public and private spheres, and a positive transformation of societies and mindsets. We have faith and hope that as humanity we can come together to address the severe climate crisis, and together ensure we all live sustainably and justly on our planet.
This is a short version of a more extended version of the Interfaith declaration on climate change for COP 25. Read the full version here.