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Interfaith Statement on Climate Change

Article117.pngFour days before the signing of the historic Paris Agreement, religious leaders from across the world have signed and issued an Interfaith Climate Change Statement impressing upon their respective governments to ratify the Paris Agreement. The Statement has been signed by 250 global faith leaders from across 50 countries, demonstrating a positive sentiment towards making the Paris Agreement work, and urging prompt ratification by governments so that it can come into force as soon as possible. Paris Agreement will be signed on Earth Day (22 nd April,2016) in New York. India along with rest of the countries will be present for a high level signing ceremony convened by UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

The Statement impresses upon the governments to rapidly sign, ratify and implement the Paris Agreement and to increase pledges to reduce emissions in line with keeping the global temperature ruse to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. The Statement insists on rapid emissions reduction and peaking by 2020, in order to keep the 1.5 C goal within reach and strongly advocates for greater flows of finance, especially for adaptation and loss and damage. The Statement urges the swift phase out of all fossil fuel subsidies and a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 and encourages faith communities to reduce emissions in their homes, workplaces and centres of worship and to support and stand in solidarity with communities already impacted by climate change while calling for fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment in renewables, including within our own communities. The Statement was signed in Church Center of the UN.

The Statement also reaffirms the faith community’s support for increased ambition in climate change action and for the commitment to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

The signatories include twenty religious leaders from India – Swami Agnivesh, President of the World Council of Arya Samaj; Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh and Co-Founder/chair Global Interfaith WASH Alliance; Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of Art of Living Foundation; Swami Atmapriyananda, Vice Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University; Swami Charukeerty Bhattarak, Pontiff of Jain Shravanabelagola Math; and Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami of the Vaishnava tradition. Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyassi, Chief Imam, All India Organisation of Mosques; Dharmacharya Shantum Seth, Ahimsa Trust, Plum Village International Community of Engaged Buddhists; Dr Mar Atsongchanger, President, National Council of Churches in India; Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, and President, Federation of Asian Bishops´ Conferences (FABC); Ven Khandro Rinpoche, Teacher in both the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism; Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma); Bhagwati Saraswati, Secretary General, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance; Dr A.K.Merchant Trustee, Lotus Temple and National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is; Lieutenant Colonel Dasari Daniel, National Secretary, The Salvation Army; Dr. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in India; Wahidudin Khan, Founder of the Islamic Centre – Urdu Islamic Institution; Dr. Acharya Lokesh Muni, Ahimsa Vishwa Bharati; Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, Director, Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery among others.”

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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