20 September 2021

Faith leaders call for climate action ahead of UN climate conference in Glasgow

Across our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change our ways to ensure a quality of life which all can share, and we need to provide hope for people of all ages, everywhere, including future generations.

The Revd Sonia Hicks, President of the Methodist Conference, Barbara Easton, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference and the Revd Mark Slaney, Chair of the Methodist Church, Scotland and Shetland Districts, have signed the following multi-faith declaration ahead of the UN conference on climate change that begins in Glasgow next month: 

Glasgow Multi-Faith Declaration for COP26

Our faith communities are united in caring for human life and the natural world. We share a belief in a hopeful future, as well as an obligation to be responsible in caring for our common home, the Earth. 

We recognise the opportunities that COP26 brings in addressing the urgent need for action in limiting the effects of climate change and the critical importance of decisions made in this conference to take forward the agreement made in Paris in 2015.

People have exploited the planet, causing climate change. We recognise that the burden of loss and damage falls most heavily on people living in poverty, especially women and children. 

We acknowledge the commitments made through the Lambeth Declaration in 2015. Now, because of the gravity of our situation, the impact of climate change around the world, and the inequality of its effects we seek to strengthen those commitments.

We commit to respond to this challenge by:

  • Reflecting deeply in prayer, meditation and worship to discern how to care for the earth and each other, and to encourage our respective communities to do the same.
  • Making transformational change in our own lives and in the lives of our communities through individual and collective action.
  • Being advocates for justice by calling on governments, businesses and others who exercise power and influence to put into effect the Paris agreement; to make the transition to a just and green economy a priority; and to commit to science-based targets that are aligned with a healthy, resilient, zero-emissions future.

We remind governments of their commitments made in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and of Article 17 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights to protect the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. We call upon them to take the urgent action needed to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change.

We look to governments to work together and with others to create a positive vision for 2050 where addressing climate change is not just an opportunity to stop burning fossil fuels, but also: to achieve cleaner air and water; to reduce food wastage; to ensure a just and equitable sharing of the earth’s resources; and to protect the habitats we share with all other life on whose health we also depend.

Across our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change our ways to ensure a quality of life which all can share, and we need to provide hope for people of all ages, everywhere, including future generations.  To offer hope in the world we need to have confidence that those in power understand the vital role they have to play at the Glasgow COP26.

Our collective energy and prayers will be with those working for a successful outcome.

Signed by:

UK Senior Faith Leaders

Archbishop Angaelos, Archbishop of London, The Coptic Orthodox Church

The Rt Revd John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, and lead Bishop for the Environment, Catholic Church in England and Wales

Imam Qari Muhammad Asim, Chair, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board

Malcolm M Deboo, President, Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (Inc)

Revd Clare Downing and Mr Peter Pay, Moderators of General Assembly, United Reformed Church

Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi, S&P Sephardi Community, UK

Revd. Lynn Green, General Secretary, The Baptist Union of Great Britain

Rev Sonia Hicks, President of the Methodist Church and Barbara Easton, Vice-President of the Methodist Church

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Former Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism

Rt Rev Andy John, Bishop of Bangor and Senior Bishop in the Church in Wales

Rabbi David Mason, representing Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra (Imam), Christian - Muslim Forum

Mr. Patrick O’Mara, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom

Mrs Trupti Patel, President of the Hindu Forum of Britain

Juliet Prager, Deputy Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain

Imam Sayed Razawi, Chief Imam, Director General of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society

Rabbi Danny Rich, former Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism in the United Kingdom

The Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, Head Priest of the London Buddhist Vihara

Dr Natubhai Shah, Senior leader, Jain Community UK

The Rt. Hon Lord Indarjit Singh of Wimbledon, Director Network of Sikh Organisations (UK)

Jasvir Singh OBE, Chair of City Sikhs

Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia OBE KSG, Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha

Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich and lead Bishop on the Environment, Church of England

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism UK

Scottish Religious Leaders & Representatives

The Rt Hon Lord Jim Wallace of Tankerness, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Elizabeth Allen, Clerk, General Meeting for Scotland, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Imam Sohail Ashfaque, Blackhall Mosque

Lt-Col Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army

Revd David Coleman, Minister of the United Reformed Church and Chaplain to Eco-Congregation Scotland

Allan Forsyth and Isadora Quay, on behalf of the Baha’i Community of Scotland

Rev Bonnie Evans Hills, convener Scottish Episcopal Church Interfaith Relations Committee

Madhu Jain, Hindu Mandir Scotland

Revd Dr Martin Johnstone, Glasgow Churches Together COP26 Ambassador

Ani Lhamo, Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist Centre

Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interreligious dialogue

Rev Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland

Acharya Ji Mishra, Priest of Hindu Mandir Scotland

Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Advisor Sikhs in Scotland

Imam Hassan Rabbani, Imam of Zia-Ul-Quran Mosque, Chair of Scottish Muslim Forum

Lama Yeshe Choje Losal Rinpoche, Abbot of Kagyu Samye, Ling Buddhist Centre

Rabbi David Rose, Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation

Rabbi Moshe Rubin, Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation, Senior Rabbi of Scotland

Shaykh Sohaib Saeed, Al-Furqan Mosque

The Revd Mark Slaney, Chair Methodist Church Scotland

Sr. Isabel Smyth, Sisters of Notre Dame & Secretary to the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Inter-religious Dialogue

Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church

Linsay Taylor, Muslim Council of Scotland and Chair of Interfaith Scotland

Dr Srihari Vallabhajousula, Honorary Priest, Hindu Temple of Scotland, Rutherglen, Glasgow

Ameed Versace, Climate Officer, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society

Revd Paul Whittle, Moderator of The United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland

Rev. George Whyte, Principal Clerk to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

You can read a blog from the Revd Sonia Hicks here and our resources and news on climate change and environment are here. The Methodist Church in Glasgow have set up a dedicated website to support attendees and activists during COP26. Find out about the activities planned at Woodside Methodist Church in Glasgow here.  Download a poster of the Declaration to display on your church noticeboard here.

 

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