Interfaith leaders came together at Canberra’s Parliament House lawns on September 6, to call on the government to take stronger climate change action.
In a live panel, faith leaders from Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Quaker and Muslim communities presented, what is hoped to be, the largest coordinated multi-electorate petition in Australia. The panel also included Greens MP Adam Bandt and Rebekha Sharkie from the Nick Xenophon Team.
To date, 25,000 people representing various religious groups have signed the Community Climate Petition.
This petition was initiated after the Australian government announced it would be reviewing its climate change policies and has since united churches, schools, workplaces and community groups that have spearheaded 150 community petitions calling for bi-partisan climate action.
The Community Climate Petition is supported by the Uniting Church in Australia including other faith-based organisations such as Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, TEAR Australia, Caritas Australia, Catholic Earthcare, Common Grace, Edmund Rice Centre and Pacific Calling Partnership.
President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Stuart McMillan, has previously stated the importance of faith groups working together and utilizing their voice to ensure the protection of the environment.
“Christians and all people of faith are called to respect the sacredness of the earth. It is this understanding that shapes our unique contribution to addressing climate change,” said Mr McMillian.
Of this most recent petition, the President of the Multi-Faith Association of South Australia, Philippa Rowland, said it was time the government committed to take serious action and reduce emissions.
“Australian Politicians from all parties bear the responsibility to work for the common good, and must swiftly work together to address climate change as a global emergency,” said Mrs Rowland.
Mrs Rowland pointed to the recent floods in both South Asia and Hurricane Harvey in the US as signs of climate change caused by human impact.
Photo: Daniel Nour, Caritas Australia/Facebook