Religious leaders rally for climate talks with PM

Religious leaders rally for climate talks with PM

Uniting Church Moderator the Rev. Niall Reid will be among 28 religious leaders of many different faith backgrounds converging on Canberra on June 2 to push for action on climate change.

They will be meeting with Julia Gillard, Greg Hunt, Andrew Wilkie and around 20 other Members of Parliament.

Spokesperson for the delegation, Anglican Bishop George Browning, said the group would lobby the government on behalf of the many people of faith who believe urgent action is needed to curb climate change.

Their unity is noteworthy amid the confusion in the carbon tax debate today.

“Let’s remember what all the fuss is about,” said Bishop Browning. “Our generation has been given humanity’s last chance to avert a climate emergency. Our grandchildren will just have to bear with the results of what we decide to do now.”

The religious leaders are urging the Government to carefully consider the structure of a tax on carbon and to think more broadly about options for reducing carbon emissions.

They advocate for public investment and incentives for the creation of renewable energy, stronger mandatory energy efficiency standards and substantial adaptation funding for developing countries.

Bishop Browning is the Chair of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network. He and the other delegates are uniting through the multi-faith network Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC).

“Taking the long view, the costs of acting now are bearable for a comparatively wealthy country like Australia. If we don’t act, the costs to our grandchildren, to people in the developing world and to biodiversity are unthinkable,” Bishop Browning said.

“The naysayers are holding Australia back from taking responsible action with their fear-mongering and misinformation. Not only can we act, we must act.”

The delegation will include leaders from the Hindu, Uniting Church, Jewish, Baha’i, Buddhist, Catholic, Moslem, Jain, and Anglican religions.

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