Church leaders urge prime minister to present ambitious goals to climate summit

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Leaders from several Australian denominations added their voices to those calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to strike a deal to impose a strong emissions reduction target at the upcoming United Nations climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow.

The Australian Salvation Army, Baptists, Churches of Christ, Anglican Church, United Church, Chinese Methodist Church, Congregational Federation, Armenian Apostolic Church, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and the Pacific Conference of Churches, as well as the National Council of Churches, were all represented by the signatories of the letter.

“We are writing to you as people of faith who believe that the Earth, our common home, is a precious gift created by God, that all life is interdependent, and that we have a responsibility to care for all people and all. creation, ”the letter reads.

“Human activity is contributing to the change of our climate and the consequences are already disastrous. Many of our churches are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change and sound the alarm bells for the well-being of the communities they serve.

The letter goes on to state that “there is a broad scientific consensus that this situation and the human suffering that will result from it will only get catastrophically worse unless we change direction” and, therefore, “change. climate is a moral imperative “requiring” urgent action in partnership with the international community and alongside our Pacific family.

“We believe Australia can be a leader and champion of ambitious climate action and should follow a path that gives the greatest hope for the future of God’s creation,” he said.

The letter urges the Australian government to:

  • Increase Australia’s emissions reduction target for 2030 to at least 50% and ambitiously target 74% to help limit global temperature rise to below 1.5 ° C, and commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with most developed countries;
  • Develop a national climate policy and plan for a just, equitable and rapid transition to a low carbon economy that reduces pollution by greenhouse gases;
  • Ensure a just and sustainable transition for communities currently dependent on carbon-intensive industries for employment and investment in renewable energies;
  • Pursue policies that support the people, nations and ecosystems most vulnerable to climate change, including measures to build the resilience of communities and support the people and services they depend on to adapt to the effects of climate change.

The letter was coordinated by the National Council of Churches of Australia, an ecumenical organization of several Christian churches in Australia.

The letter ended by saying: “We deliver this letter with an awareness of our own responsibilities to combat climate change. Every member and part of society has a role to play, but a stronger and more ambitious climate agenda from the Australian government is essential to meet the enormous challenge that lies ahead. We think Australia is ready.

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