Religious Leaders Urge Ambitious Climate Agreement
20 October 2015: UNFCCC Executive Director Christiana Figueres received a statement from a delegation of 154 faith and spiritual leaders representing different faith groups, headed by South African Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, calling for an ambitious climate agreement, reminding governments to commit to emission cuts and climate risk reduction, and pledging contributions from their own faith communities, including fossil fuel divestment.
The statement calls for the UNFCCC COP 21 to: translate ecological stewardship into concrete climate action; show inter-generational responsibility; ensure climate justice; and initiate individual and structural transformation.
More specifically, it calls for: phasing out fossil energies and reaching zero emissions by mid-century; 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 religious leaders also call for delivery of the internationally agreed US$100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020, and express support for the goal of 100% renewable energy worldwide by 2050.
The statement builds on a number of recent calls from faith groups, notably Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', the declaration of the New York Interfaith Summit, the Lambeth Declaration and the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, according to the ACT Alliance, one of the coordinators of the statement. [UNFCCC Press Release] [Statement by Faith and Spiritual Leaders] [ACT Alliance Press Release]