Religious leaders unite in support of climate action, special summit planned for Climate Week NYC

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6 August 2014

NEW YORK: Global religious leaders will gather in New York City for a special Interfaith Summit on September 21 and 22, as part of Climate Week NYC, the collaborative space for all events supporting the UN Climate Summit.

Organized by the World Council of Churches and Religions for Peace, the  Interfaith Summit on Climate Change will provide a forum for faith communities worldwide to demand international climate action.

This inter-denominational dialogue comes at a critical time in climate negotiations. With just months to go before the 20th Conference of the Parties to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, and the clock ticking towards the UN’s 2015 climate summit in Paris, the contribution of the faith community is timely.

Thirty leaders from all different religions and spiritual beliefs will convene in NYC to advocate for climate justice. Youth and minorities voices will be championed and the outcome of the discussion will be presented in statement form to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

To date, religious leaders have taken leadership roles on climate issues. Just last month, the World Council of Church - an umbrella group which stands for half a billion Christians worldwide – announced it would divest from fossil fuels. Similarly, Archbishop Desmond Tutu co-authored a letter calling on political leaders to set an ambitious deal at the Paris climate summit.

Let’s leave no one behind as we look with confidence towards a future which we can make great, for you have been given an opportunity that will be the envy of history,” the letter emphatically states.

Members of the Muslim community are also active stewards of the earth. In the below video, you can see Mariam Ismail Badaroon, of Cape Town, South Africa, explaining how she is teaching families at her mosque on how they can effectively tackle global warming.

“I believe that my faith compels me to embrace greener choices in my life”, Mariam explains.

The Interfaith Summit on Climate Change will highlight that for many religious people like Mariam, acting on climate change is not an option but a moral imperative.

As Bishop Geoff Davies states: “It’s so important this it overrides any cultural, national, religious, language considerations and so we believe all faiths should be uniting to come together to confront this greatest of threats that humanity faces.”

Visit to find out about this and other notable climate events, and see how you can get involved.

Video courtesy of Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

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By Alana Ryan

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