Tuesday, 25 June 2013

An Open Letter from Australian Religious Leaders

As people of faith, we draw attention to one of the most urgent moral issues facing us in the upcoming election.

The International Energy Agency and other influential bodies are now warning us about an unthinkable 4 degree Celsius rise in temperatures if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. Recent experiences of extreme weather events, both here and overseas, are a mild foretaste of what this will mean. We are despoiling the world given to us as a sacred trust for future generations.

The world is already moving to take strong preventative action. Ninety countries, representing 90 per cent of global emissions, have carbon reduction programs in place and Australia now has a price on carbon. However our country continues to be a significant contributor to the problem. With our small population, we are among the world’s 20 largest emitters and one of the two largest coal exporters.

We must wind back our exports of cheap coal which are currently hindering the global drive for renewable energy. We must diminish our reliance on fossil fuels and replace them with clean, renewable sources of energy. As part of this, carbon pricing must be given bipartisan support. Only then will Australia be part of the solution.

In the upcoming election we urge all Australians to give this moral issue the attention it demands. Our world is a blessing, a gift, and a responsibility. We must act now if we are to protect this sacred trust.


Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney, President, Uniting Church of Australia National Assembly

Archbishop Philip Wilson, Archbishop of Adelaide and Chair of Catholic Earthcare Australia

Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, Grand Mufti of Australia

Professor Nihal Agar, Chairman, Hindu Council of Australia

Ajahn Barhm, Chair, Australian Sangha Association, Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery

Sr Annette Cunliffe rsc, President, Catholic Religious Australia

Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, Senior Rabbi, The Great Synagogue, Sydney

Rev. Dr Brian Brown, Moderator, Uniting Church of Australia NSW and ACT Synod

Bishop George Browning, Convenor, Anglican Communion Environment Network

Professor Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology, Australian Catholic University

Mr Hafez Kassem, President, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils

Rabbi Jeffery Kamins, Senior Rabbi, Emanuel Synagogue

Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky, Chairperson, Rabbinic Council of Progressive Rabbis

Graeme Lyall AM, President, Amitabha Buddhist Association of New South Wales

Rev. Professor james Haire AC AM, Director, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

Rev. Rod Benson, Ethicist & Public Theologian, Australian Baptist Ministries

This letter was coordinated by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Read the original post here.