Church leaders call for climate action
The Uniting Church has joined churches from across the region in calling on the Australian Government to play its part in global action addressing climate change.
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia Rev Sharon Hollis has co-signed an open letter to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressing a shared concern that we must act on climate change before it is too late.
“We must act now. For the love of God, for the love of creation, and for the love of neighbour, we must take steps that will limit the impacts of climate change, so that all who make their home on earth can flourish. We can no longer wait,” said Rev Hollis.
The letter was signed by the leaders of major Christian denominations in Australia such as the Anglican, Baptist, Quakers, Salvation Army and Churches of Christ as well as Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) Interim National Chair Rev Mark Kickett, National Council of Church in Australia (NCCA) President Bishop Philip Huggins and Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) General Secretary Rev James Bhagwan who will be in Glasgow for the COP26 meeting.
The letter reads, “We believe Australia can be a leader and champion of ambitious climate action and should pursue a path that gives the greatest hope for the future of God’s creation.”
In the lead up to the COP26 meeting, the letter urges the Australian Government to scale up Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target to at least 50% and ambitiously aim for higher to help limit global temperature rise to less than 1.5 C.
It also calls for “a just and sustainable transition for communities currently dependent on carbon intensive industries” and policies that support people, nations and ecosystems that are most vulnerable to climate change.
Noongar man and UAICC National Interim Chair Rev Mark Kickett said First Peoples felt a responsibility to care for the earth.
“We as custodians of our country have been given the privilege to care for mother earth. For First Nations people, it is part of who we are,” said Rev Kickett.
“Our relationship with God demands that we need to care for this country which has been entrusted to us.”
Rev Hollis said the letter expressed a shared concern among Australian churches but also a willingness to be a part of the solution.
“It will take all levels of government, churches, businesses and the wider community work together to achieve a sustainable future. Our combined letter to the Prime Minister signals that churches are ready to play our part, and that we wholeheartedly support more ambitious commitments to safeguard the most vulnerable in our region and beyond.”