Australians of faith pound the nation's pavement for climate justice

5 Jul 2017   |   Environment

Hundreds of individuals from diverse faith communities across Australia are pounding the nation’s pavements collecting petition signatures calling for stronger action on climate change.

Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and other people of faith are working together to raise a ‘Community Climate Petition’, 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 our political leaders to support deeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a faster transition to a clean energy economy and better support for our poorest neighbours grappling with the impacts of climate change.

"Tens of thousands of Australians have already signed the petitions,” said Thea Ormerod, President of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change.

“As people of faith, we’re calling on our politicians to take stronger action on climate to protect our future and that of our children and grandchildren,” said Mrs Ormerod.

The impacts of climate change are increasingly being felt across Australia and the world, including extreme weather events of greater frequency and ferocity, rising sea levels, an alarming depletion of our natural heritage such as the Great Barrier Reef, and drought-induced famines affecting millions of people.

"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," said Zhi Yan, Campaigns Coordinator at Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency.

“Last year, our Pacific neighbours were telling us about their food crops and cemeteries being washed away; their hospitals inundated by the ocean,” said Ms Yan. “We have to act now.”

Scientists have warned that we have a small and narrow opportunity to act if we want to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

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 the petition to Parliament.

Individuals interested in joining the Community Climate Petition and collecting signatures can email Susan Duric or visit our website.

The Community Climate Petition is supported by a coalition of faith based organisations including the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Caritas Australia, Catholic Earthcare, Common Grace, Edmund Rice Centre, Pacific Calling Partnership, TEAR Australia and the Uniting Church in Australia.

Watch this video of people of faith explaining why they’re part of the campaign:

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