A statement signed by 154 religious and faith leaders from around the world has called for “a fair, ambitious, and binding global deal” on climate at the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris.
The statement was handed over to Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on Tuesday, and signed by more than 150 faith and spiritual leaders from 50 countries. The authors of the letter claim that “COP21 in Paris” is the best time “to utilize the special momentum given on this highly significant occasion” to make global commitments.
Many faiths and religions around the world hold Planet Earth as a gift, with the authors writing that their “religious convictions and cosmological narratives tell us that this earth and the whole universe are gifts that we have received from the spring of life, from God.” Therefore, they write, “it is our obligation to respect, protect, and sustain these gifts by all means.”
Subsequently, given that COP21 is “the right time” and “moment” to act to save the environment, according to a number of well-thought out arguments raised by the coalition of leaders, the authors of the letter “call for a fair, ambitious, and binding global deal applicable to all countries” — such a deal includes:
A long-term goal to phase out greenhouse gas emissions and phase in 100% renewable energy by the middle of the century in order to stay below 1.5/2°C of warming above pre-industrial levels.
The leaders also “call on governments, and in particular the G20, all OECD members, high income countries, and other major emitters”:
- to commit to nationally binding, ambitious short term emission reduction targets
- to commit to national climate risk management measures
- to commit to the provision of bold support to those countries and people who have less resources and capacity, starting with the most vulnerable
“We urge governments to commit to building climate resilience, phasing out fossil energies and reaching zero emissions by midcentury,” said Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, Director of Bread for the World. “We call for a robust mechanism to review and ratchet up ambitions, transparency and accountability rules applicable to all, and the provision of finance and support to poor and vulnerable countries.”
The full text of the letter can be read here (PDF).