Faith groups issue environmental challenge

An interfaith ecology network is calling on believers to show leadership in tackling climate change by becoming early adopters of environmental technologies and developing partnerships between faith communities in Australia and countries mostly likely to be affected by sea level rise.

In a statement on climate change, the Faith and Ecology Network expresses its gratitude to the scientists and campaigners who have alerted the community to rapid climate change and the role of human activity in accelerating that change.

"We believe that there is sufficient scientific evidence to warrant grave concern about the rapidly growing effects of accelerated climate change on earth's oceans, land and atmosphere," the Network says.

"It is calculated that negative effects will be most severe in Australia and Africa, and they will be disastrous for ocean-island and river delta populations."

The Network called for policies to "help Australian society to systematically reduce the use of energy derived from fossils fuels and to promote alternative sources of clean energy".

The Network, which includes representatives from Aboriginal, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Islamic and Baha'i traditions, also called for policies that "show solidarity with the poorer nations of this planet".

"They will bear most of the negative effects of climate change even though long industrialised richer countries have contributed the most to greenhouse gas emissions.

"All countries need to work together when local and global measures of adaptation to climate change are being negotiated, but, newly industrialising countries should receive special consideration," the Network concludes.

The Network was formed in 2003 during a forum of 120 people at Australian Catholic University, Strathfield campus in Sydney. The first meeting was an initiative of the Columban Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice.

Faith Ecology Network Media Release (5/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Columban's Mission Society

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6 Jul 2007