A multi-faith service will this month be held in Perth’s St Mary’s Cathedral in support of calls for an end to approvals for new coal and gas projects and to public subsidies for fossil fuel industries. Photo: Supplied.
An open letter to Prime Minister Albanese advocating for climate justice policies, has been signed by more than 70 high-level Australian and Pacific clergy and leaders from diverse faith traditions.
On the morning of its publication, Thursday 13 October at 9.30 am, a multi-faith service will be held in Perth’s St Mary’s Cathedral in support of their calls for an end to approvals for new coal and gas projects and to public subsidies for fossil fuel industries.
The service will feature chanting, congregational singing, meditation and prayers from a range of traditions. Supporters of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, who are organising the event, will welcome people of all faiths and none.
Similar events are being held across Australia and the Pacific in a day of action showing grassroots endorsement the open letter. Some supporters will hold prayer, meditation and fasting vigils throughout the night.
Clouds gather but produce no rain as cracks are seen in the dried-up municipal dam in drought-stricken Graaff-Reinet, South Africa, 14 November 2019. In a 13 July 2022, message to participants of a Vatican conference on climate change, Pope Francis said humanity has a "moral obligation" to protect the environment and combat climate change. Photo: CNS/Mike Hutchings, Reuters
The signatories are concerned that Australia ‘profits from exports that are causing the climate crisis’.
They believe the new Government should fully respect the rights of First Nations peoples to protect their Country, and that Australia should re-start contributions to the United Nations climate finance.
The latter had lapsed under the previous government, despite it being an agreed obligation under the Paris Accord.
Signatories are also calling for support for an international Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The proposed Treaty reflects a growing global concern that the continued production and export of fossil fuels is overpowering any gains made by the nation-by-nation pursuit of emissions reduction targets.
In July, Pope Francis publicly declared his support for the Treaty . His spokesperson, Cardinal Michael Czerny, said, ‘Pope Francis again joins scientists in holding to the Paris Agreement’s temperature increase goal of 1.5°C. The planet already is 1.2°C hotter, yet new fossil fuel projects every day accelerate our race towards the precipice. Enough is enough. All new exploration and production of coal, oil, and gas must immediately end.’
In mid-September, the Treaty received public support from the World Health Organisation, the World Federation of Public Health Associations and nearly 200 other medical bodies .
A herdsman walks past the carcass of a cow in Kargi, Kenya, Oct. 9, 2021. Catholic bishops of eastern Africa are meeting in Tanzania to discuss the consequences of ecological damage throughout the region and impact on lives of people. Photo: CNS/Baz Ratner, Reuters.
Advocates of the Treaty seek to influence the United Nations COP27 climate talks, to be held next month in Egypt.
The multi-faith services and all-night vigils are a rare display of unity among people of diverse faiths. They are part of a global faith campaign known as ‘Faiths 4 Climate Justice’, in which actions are being organised in over 40 countries during the lead-up to COP27.
For more information about the Multi-Faith Service in St Mary’s Cathedral, see https://www.arrcc.org.au/perth_f4cj_multi_faith_service.
Thea Ormerod is President of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change