Over 150 religious leaders have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to recognise the climate situation as a national emergency and to halt all new coal and gas projects in Australia.
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Dr Deidre Palmer, is among the letter signatories which also includes the Grand Mufti of Australia, Bishops, Buddhists, senior Rabbis and leading theologians.
The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) organised the letter, with the ARRCC President Thea Ormerod explaining that, “stopping new fossil fuel projects like the Adani mine is a moral imperative.”
“Australia is the largest exporter of both coal and gas globally and one of the largest per capita polluters. We have an urgent duty to change this, and protect all life on earth,” said Ormerod.
Along with stopping the proposed Adani coal mine and ensuring no new coal or gas projects the letter also urges the government to move to 100% renewable energy by the year 2030.
“As one of the world’s sunniest and windiest countries, Australia has the means to address the global climate crisis by building a strong, renewables-powered economy that benefits Australia and our overseas brothers and sisters, and cares for our common home.
“Faith leaders are so concerned about this moral challenge that they have come out in unprecedented numbers to call for climate action. Some are even willing to face arrest to stop the Adani mine,” said Ormerod.
This letter comes as the City of Sydney councillors have officially declared a climate emergency, calling on the Federal Government to meet the Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets by reintroducing the price on carbon.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore also called on the Federal Government to ensure that Australian employees of the fossil fuel industries are able to find alternative employment. To do this the council has urged the government to establish a Just Transition Authority.
We also call on the Government to establish a Just Transition Authority to ensure Australians employed in fossil fuel industries find appropriate alternate employment.
— Clover Moore (@CloverMoore) June 24, 2019
“In 2020, we will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, allowing us to meet our 2030 target by 2024 – six years early,” said Mayor Moor.
Sydney was Australia’s first carbon neutral council in 2007. In 2017 the council had reduced their operation emissions by 25 per cent, according to Mayor Moor.
Image: (L-R) Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Environmental Adviser, Australian Council of Progressive Rabbis, Thea Ormerod, President, ARRCC, Gawaine Powell Davies, President, Buddhist Council of NSW, Imam Ahmed Abdo, Secretary, Council of Imams, NSW and Sr Libby Rogerson, Loreto Sisters.