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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Parliament of World Religions on Climate Change
By ISKCON News Staff   |  Jun 09, 2017

Recently, the Parliament of World Relegions issued the following statement: 

The Parliament of the World’s Religions enters 2017 convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the reality and basic causes of climate change are settled science. We are also convinced that the evidence for the danger posed by human-caused climate change is irrefutable. For all persons of good faith, 2017 must be a year of action to reduce human caused greenhouse emissions and to prepare for and address the inescapable consequences of the changes we have already imposed upon the planet.

2016 has been the hottest year in recorded human history. The impacts of rising temperatures on our planet and our ways of life are drastic, evident and indisputable. Our decisions and action in 2017 will shape the conditions for existence, including for humans, on our planet for the foreseeable future.

Organized religions and faith based communities across the world have come to similar and supportive conclusions.  In a spirit of harmony, we join in calling for a Year of Climate Action; individuals, organizations, businesses, and institutions at all levels of organization must actively accept responsibility for the impacts of climate change on life on Planet Earth. Those with the greatest opportunity to reduce emissions and counter adverse consequences have the greatest responsibility to act aggressively and decisively.

The engagement of the spiritual communities of the world is critical to every aspect of that challenge. We cannot do what is in our hearts if we cannot listen to what is in our hearts. And if we see no meaning and value in the world beyond what our science and our economics can reveal we will lack the motivation to make the tough choices we must make and accept responsibility for our actions.

The wisdom on which we must draw as we choose our futures will come from diverse traditions and insights catalyzed by common purpose – the Wellbeing of humans, our societies, and the Earth’s natural systems. As diverse as our cultures and traditions may be, it is even more certain that we will share the future. Faith communities can help us recognize our interdependence, see beyond our science and knowledge to perceive meaning and wisdom, and encourage mutually reinforcing action. And there is a fearsome urgency to this challenge.

Our actions each day write the future across the face of this planet. Just as we have chosen the world in which we live today, we can choose a better world for our future. The religions, the faith traditions, and our individual spiritual experience are necessary to making those choices wisely.

The Parliament is not a scientific organization. We make no claim to independent findings or insights with regard to the physical state of our planet, the causes of climate change or its impacts on humans and their environments. We do assert, however, the universal responsibility for each person to be accountable for our actions.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions, acting with the leadership of its Climate Action Task Force, seeks to encourage and enable collective and individual action to reduce and counter the adverse impacts of human-caused climate change. The Task Force bases its mandate in the Interfaith Call to Action of October, 2015 and December, 2016.

In 2017, the work of the Task Force will include:

  • Encouraging and supporting actions by individuals and communities, governments at all levels, religious congregations, and for-profit and not-for-profit entities to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by reforming patterns of production and consumption, decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, and promoting the sustainability of natural systems.

  • Advocating aggressive action by the National Governments, International Agencies and Financial Institutions, and Corporations and business entities in implementing and supporting the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • Promoting and support the transition to clean, safe and affordable renewable energy in all countries, and the realization of a post-carbon global economy with fair and affordable access to energy for all.  

In 2017, we will emphasize the important task of organizing a Global Climate Action Forum as a central component of the Global Parliament to be convened in October, 2018. The Climate Action Forum will recognize the actions of the World’s Religions to respond to the imminent threat of climate change, as well as Action Commitments which will be implemented by all partners over the period of 2018 to 2021. The Forum will also update the Interfaith Call to Action, and invite further endorsements of the declaration as revised.

Plans for Preparatory Events will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the Parliament in 2017.

We invite all who share our concerns and values to join with us in these endeavors.

Climate Action Task Force of the Parliament of the World’s Religions

David Hales

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To join the declaration click here: