In a letter to parishes last month, Archbishop Wilson said the petition would “allow our collective voice to be heard” and would help highlight the impact climate change is having on the lives of those who are the most poor and vulnerable in the world, “many of whom are our closest neighbours”.
“Thank you for your continued attention to the message of Pope Francis in his encyclical letter, Laudato Si, where he calls us to care for the gift of this earth, our common home, and for our people,” he wrote.
Caritas Australia and Catholic Earthcare have joined with Micah and other Australian faith organisations to highlight the impact of climate change. Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and other people of faith and currently pounding the nation’s pavements collecting signatures for what is the largest multi-electorate climate petition in Australia’s history.
These community volunteers have raised close to 100 electorate-based climate petitions across the country so far, gathering support in churches, mosques, shopping centres, high schools and local businesses. The petitions call upon political leaders to support deeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a faster transition to a clean energy economy and better support for neighbouring countries grappling with the impacts of climate change.
Zhi Yan, campaigns coordinator at Caritas Australia, said urgent action was needed.
“Last year our Pacific neighbours were telling us about their food crops and cemeteries being washed away, their hospitals inundated by the ocean. We have to act now,” she said.
“Climate change is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time. The world’s poor are bearing the brunt of climate change despite having done the least to cause it.”
Petition signatures are being collected across Australia until mid-August. Each electorate’s petition will then be presented to their MP who will be asked to personally present it to Parliament.
Individuals interested in joining the Community Climate Petition and collecting signatures can contact email@example.com or visit www.caritas.org.au/climate-petition
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