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Adelaide joins global faith day of action


St Francis Xavier's Catholic Cathedral in Adelaide was among 110 places of worship across Australia displaying banners or holding events as part of a global faith day of action yesterday.

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Leaders of faith communities urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take far stronger emissions reduction targets for the year 2030 to the United Nations Climate Summit being held in Glasgow from October 31.

Many banners called on the Prime Minister to ‘Protect Creation’ and called for ‘Bold climate action by 2030, starting now’. The banners went up in every state and territory at cathedrals, churches, Buddhist temples and a mosque.

“Much is being made of net zero by 2050,” said Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky, from Adelaide.

“But the real question is what can be achieved by 2030. The latest climate science shows we are running out of time to protect our common home. We urge the Prime Minister to adopt a meaningful plan to match the ambition of other nations like the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union, and to start implementing those plans immediately.

“Australia should also fulfil its promises under the Paris Accord to contribute to the Green Climate Fund. It is only fair that, as a wealthy country that has profited from exporting fossil fuels, we should be contributing to finance adaptation measures for climate-impacted countries.”

Also speaking in Adelaide, John Lochowiak, chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and Kaurna Elder supported the campaign, saying it recognised the “deep responsibility of First Nations to care for Country and all who live in this ancient land”.

Pentecostal Pastor Rob Buckingham of Bayside Church in Melbourne, appealed to the Prime Minister as “a man of faith” and asked him to carefully consider his Government’s responsibility to make sure the Earth’s environment is protected for the generations to come.

“We share the concerns of people in regional communities, but the world is clearly moving away from fossil fuels,” he said.

“It is actually more compassionate to assist these communities to diversify their local economies now. Otherwise, we abandon them to an uncertain and bleak future. Especially so because people in the regions are also bearing the brunt of fires, floods and droughts made worse by climate change.”

Venerable Sujato, a Buddhist monk and the director of Sutta Central, said: “Our faith traditions all teach that the ethical path is one which is also ultimately life-giving. Mr Morrison has a choice. He takes Australia on a life-giving path of helping conserve the Earth’s climate stability, which also happens to hold the promise of a cleaner, more jobs-rich future. Or he continues down this death-dealing path which protects, not life, but particular sectors which stand to gain by holding back progress.”

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) president, Thea Ormerod, said, “Given the need for recovery spending from the pandemic, the Government must not simply replace fossil fuels with fossil fuels. We join with Australian youth in crying out for the dishonest ‘gas-fired recovery’ to be replaced by public investment in our vast renewable energy potential.”

Australian actions are part of hundreds of events in locations around the world, from New York to Nairobi, Santiago to Sydney, Lilongwe (Malawi) to London. Banners calling for stronger action to tackle climate change are being hung from cathedrals, churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and prayer houses, with protests held outside the offices of corporations and politicians who continue to ignore .

In Australia, actions were organised under the auspices of the ARRCC, a founding partner of GreenFaith International.


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