Religious plan of action for climate change launched

Religious plan of action for climate change launched

The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) has released a blueprint to curb climate change, developed through consultation with local faith communities.

At the Sydney launch on February 10, President of the multi-faith network Thea Ormerod said the paper presented ARRCC’s positions on the Australian Government’s climate change policies.

“ARRCC has drawn on the values held dear by many people of faith from a range of traditions – including compassion for the poor, living simply, truth-telling and respect for life,” Ms Ormerod said.

“We have consulted our members and together envisaged how these values might translate into enlightened climate policy.

“From a typically conservative constituency, the result is a radical and compelling vision for a better world.”

ARRCC’s policy position paper was developed by its members, who include Baha’is, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews and Muslims. It advocates sustainable policies to curb coal exports, carbon emissions, consumerism, meat consumption and logging.

Speaking at the launch was Bhante Sujato, founder of Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon. The Buddhist teacher and scholar described climate change as “fundamentally a moral issue”.

“In the last few weeks we’ve seen floods, we’ve seen cyclones and we’ve seen bushfires,” he said.

“One of the problems with climate change is … you can’t pinpoint one thing and say ‘this cyclone was the result of climate change’ or ‘that bushfire wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for climate change’.

“It’s very difficult to make that explicit connection – anymore than you can say ‘smoking that cigarette is going to give you lung cancer’. But the general principle is very clear – if we continue living the way we have done … these kinds of tragedies will increase.”

To read ARRCC’s Policy Positions Paper, visit www.arrcc.org.au

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