Biggest-ever faith-based global day of action sounds the alarm for climate justice.
400 actions in 45 countries. Grassroots people of diverse religions are rising to face the climate emergency. Hundreds of religious groups of all faiths gathered for a Global Day of Action at 11am on 11 March 2021.
At 11am – the 11th hour – on Thursday 11 March, people of all faiths (or no faiths!) gathered globally to raise the alarm and call for a more ambitious timeline to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
GreenFaith International Network has produced a 13-page Multi-Faith Resource with illustrations of grassroots demonstrations around the 10 demands to provide instructional narratives for teaching and public proclamation.
Media release – 11 March 2021
Faith communities worldwide sound the alarm on climate
Over one hundred local faith communities across Australia from diverse traditions will hold events today as part of a major global multi faith Day of Action to ‘sound the alarm’ for the climate. Across 40 countries, religious organisations representing 100 million members are holding actions to ‘sound the alarm’ at the yawning gap between what is required to limit global temperature rise and actual commitments by governments and financial institutions.
Churches will ring their Bells, Rabbis will sound the shofar, Imams will call the Azan and some groups will hold silent Vigils to draw attention to a series of calls on Prime Minister Scott Morrison for climate justice. The actions will be across every state and territory.
There will also be multi-faith Vigils outside the offices of the Prime Minister, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Warren Entsch.
The Day of Action is in support of a “Sacred People, Sacred Earth” Statement signed by very prominent religious leaders including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Vatican Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Turkson.
There are also high-profile Australian signatories including Bishop Philip Huggins, President of the National Council of Churches, and Bishop Vincent Long of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. The Statement has been signed by over 200 faith leaders and thousands of people from a very wide range of faiths.
The signatories seek net zero emissions for wealthy countries by 2030, a leap ahead of net zero by 2050. The Statement also calls for economic recovery money to be spent on renewables rather than fossil fuels, and that governments “must not perpetuate an outdated economic system that relies on fossil fuels and the destruction of the very forests, waters, oceans and soils that make life possible.”
Australian signatories are calling on Scott Morrison’s Government to submit higher emissions reduction targets that are in line with a net zero target by 2030 this year in the lead-up to the crucial COP26 negotiations in Glasgow. Instead of a “gas-led recovery”, they want post-COVID recovery spending to be on low carbon jobs, and for finance to be provided to the UN Green Climate Fund for developing countries.
In Australia, the lead organisation is the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), which is part of GreenFaith International.
Bishop Philip Huggins said, “We all need to be imaginative and generous together now to prevent a worsening climate emergency. Our Federal Government has a crucial leadership role both in our nation and as good neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The transition to net-zero requires we make a bold Australian contribution to COP26, as is expected by the Paris Agreement. It means coordinating Regional Industry Plans so that workers in fossil fuel industries can transition to durable and clean energy employment.
“We have the innovative expertise to ensure our economy flourishes and our climate is safe for this and future generations.
“We now just need the quality of coherent national leadership that, as with the pandemic, builds trust and takes initiatives to prevent more suffering,” urged Bishop Huggins.
Ann Zubrick, Presiding Clerk of Quakers Australia, said “One clear lesson from this pandemic is that things we considered impossible can, with thoughtful planning, suddenly become possible. It’s also shown that amazing things can happen when the science is heeded and the welfare of all is taken into account. However, when governments act too slowly or without regard for our common good, the poor are hurt the most.
“In the terrible fires of the last two summers, we’ve seen what happens when the science of climate change is denied and its growing effects not heeded.”
“Climate scientists are urging the most ambitious emissions reductions possible, hence our suggested target for wealthy countries of net zero by 2030. This won’t happen while governments like that of Scott Morrison remain complacent.”
Bhante Sujato, a monk in the Theravada tradition, said “Buddhism teaches compassion for all living beings not just those we think might vote for us in marginal electorates. Australia is the largest exporter of coal and gas. Compassion means basic empathy for our neighbours in the Pacific who are seeing their homes swamped by the sea – and for our own farmers battling droughts. It means caring enough about the billions of animals killed in last summer’s fires to actually act. It means doing everything we can to stop the Great Barrier Reef from dying.”
→ Video statement on Facebook
Two things happens on 11 March:
A global multi-faith statement on the climate will be widely published, with names of high-level faith leader signatories as well as the support of tens of thousands of people of faith and spirit.
A Day of Action where places of worship and households of people of faith will sound the alarm for climate action and justice
→ See the interactive map
Actions in Geelong region
• Wesley Uniting Church
100 Yarra Street, Geelong
• Drol Kar Buddhist Centre for Climate Action
Office of Libby Coker MP
195 Colac road, Waurn Ponds Shopping complex, Geelong
• Sound the Climate Alarm in Newtown
All Saints Anglican Church, Newtown-Chilwell, 113 Noble Street, Newtown
• St Lukes Uniting Church Highton – Ring the Bells
179 Barrabool Road, Highton
• St. Alban’s Anglican Church Raises its Voice for the Climate
277 Church Street, Hamlyn Heights
• Ringing of the Bell at St George the Martyr Anglican Church
There will be a gathering from 10:30am in the grounds of the St George Church at the corner of Hobson and Mercer Streets in Queenscliff
• St Luke’s Anglican Church – Ring the Bell
19 Pride Street, Torquay
• Crossroads Uniting Church
Duncans Rd & Synnot St, Werribee
“We are united by a fundamental belief that all people, all living things, and the Earth are sacred. Our hearts overflow with concern about the impacts of climate change – particularly on vulnerable communities.”
This March 11th, grassroots people of diverse religions are coming together worldwide behind a compassionate, loving, and just response to climate change’s impacts on the vulnerable. Hundreds of actions around the globe will take place calling for change based on moral values that place the wellbeing of people and planet ahead of polluting industries, bank profits, shortsighted politicians, and extremist cultural forces.
→ Read more on www.arrcc.org.au/global
→ 10 demands – Sign the statement on www.actionnetwork.org
#Faiths4Climate #Faiths4ClimateAction #SacredPeopleSacredEarth
“We are united by a fundamental belief that all people, all living things, and the Earth are sacred.
As we consider the state of the world today, our hearts overflow with concern.
We are frightened and frustrated by the damage that COVID-19 is inflicting on our communities. The pandemic has revealed cruel injustices. The vulnerable suffer the most severe impacts.
We know about this injustice. We have seen it before. These same communities are disproportionately and catastrophically affected by the accelerating climate emergency.
Grave threats are at our door as the world shelters in place. We see the rise of increasingly unaccountable or authoritarian governments, exploitive economies, and extremist cultural forces which pit us against each other, target women and oppressed communities, and foster doubt about the science required to save life on Earth. This is a world of widespread poverty, racial and gender injustice, massive income inequality, and the devastation of nature. This version of civilization is unsustainable at every level. Worse impacts lie ahead if we do not act now.
A far better future is possible if our collective response to the pandemic and the climate crisis is guided by compassion, love and justice at a scale that meets this moment. We must not only provide the relief that so many need to survive. We must create a new culture, politics and economy of life that heals people and planet.
We envision a world transformed, in which humanity in all its diversity has developed a shared reverence for life on Earth. Together, we are building resilient, caring communities and economies that meet everyone’s needs and protect the planet. The era of conquest, extraction, and exploitation has given way to cooperation and community. The good life is one of connectedness—with each other and all of nature. It is a world of flourishing life that replaces despair with joy, scarcity with shared abundance, and privilege with justly distributed power.
The work to create this future begins now.
In the months ahead, governments and financial institutions will spend massive sums in response to the pandemic. Governments will present climate commitments at COP26 in November 2021. These actions must not perpetuate an outdated economic system that relies on fossil fuels and the destruction of the very forests, waters, oceans and soils that make life possible. Instead they should accelerate renewable energy development; ensure universal access to clean water and air, affordable clean energy, and food grown with respect for the land; create jobs paying family-sustaining wages to workers in safe conditions. Wealthy countries must take responsibility for a larger share of emissions reductions to support a global just transition. We must also prepare ourselves to welcome those who will be displaced by COVID and climate change.
Compassion, love and justice require no less of us all.”
The real challenge
“It is really up to us to challenge how so many believing people, faith-filled people, have bought into a libertarian notion of the world and the economy as something that we are to dominate for our own profit,” without considering the consequences “not just for the created order and material world, but also for how humanity is organized and how it contributes to human flourishing. So that is a real challenge for us.”
~ Cardinal Blase Cupich in Chicago, USA, during a recent webinar
During a recent interreligious dialogue, Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich said the adoption of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home” has been hindered in part because some Catholics and other people of faith “have bought into a libertarian notion of the world and the economy as something that we are to dominate for our own profit.”
→ NCR – 4 March 2021:
Cupich: Libertarian ideology hinders Laudato Si’ adoption in the church