“Our Spiritual Imperative for the Earth”
Multi-Faith Charter for COP23
A deep spirituality permeates the communities of the Pacific and is at the heart of the Pacific people’s relationship with each other and the environment.
Spirituality is integral to the way we interpret, understand and interact with one another, and with the natural world. This spirituality is enhanced by (Christianity and) the many faith traditions of the world which have grown roots in our diverse Pacific communities. These faith traditions are shared with the vast majority of those who share this planet.
Acknowledging and embracing the significance and centrality of such life-affirming spirituality has the potential to not only underpin the negotiations of COP23 but mobilize billions of like-hearted people as allies in the challenge to address Climate Change, providing an important catalyst for grass roots action.
As the nations of the world gather for COP23 under the presidency of Fiji, it is our common hope and constant prayer, as people of faith, that the reflections and discernment and life-affirming responses of such spirituality remain as critically important as scientific and political conversations in the decision-making processes during COP23.
As people of faith, people with spirituality:
We strongly express our deep concern over the warming climate that threatens the Earth and especially our vulnerable sea of islands, which we hold in trust. Our care for this Earth is our legacy for our children; we are therefore responsible as stewards of Mother Earth to keep it well.
We acknowledge that humanity has been entrusted with the stewardship of this planet, her trees, gardens, rivers, oceans and all the living creatures that depend on her nurture.
We acknowledge that the scientific community’s consensus that climate change is caused by human activity is a call to action for all the nations of the earth.
We confess that we have been poor stewards and that our gluttonous and unsustainable lifestyles have led to the impacts we see today - climate change and massive loss of species – fish, coral, wild creatures, jungles, forests and clean water sources.
As custodians of this great planet, it is our spiritual, moral and ethical responsibility to collectively take urgent action to do all that is possible to combat climate change and save our planet and humanity.
The solutions lie in our hands through the traditional, scientific and technical knowledge we have amassed.
We must sacrifice our current self-centered attitude, unsustainable habits and consumption patterns. We must now find and keep within us the will to do what is right and just, the foresight to forgo immediate gains for the greater good, and the hope that we can pass on to our children a better world than we inherited.
We commit to work within our faith communities to encourage our people to take all actions necessary to consume resources responsibly, protect the world’s biodiversity and help reduce carbon emissions.
We believe that individual commitment to this task in our daily lives is essential. We will also encourage the faithful—and all people—to press their leaders for action at the international, regional and local levels to curb carbon emissions, to build community adaptation and resilience to impacts of climate change and adopt policies that will educate and encourage each individual to do his or her part.
It cannot be denied that there is an urgent moral and spiritual imperative to act decisively now.
Our people need assurance of a safer and sustainable future for themselves and their children. We strongly call on all political leaders to renew and intensify their commitments to act and, where necessary, show the courage that leadership demands. Specifically, we reaffirm the interfaith statement made in Morocco at COP22.
· Urgently ask States to take bold action to rapidly reduce emissions, in line with the 1.5°C goal;
· Seek an effective Facilitative Dialogue that delivers:
o greater pre-2020 ambition
o improved NDC post-2020 emission reduction targets
o speeding the advance to low-carbon economies
o increased and innovative public and private finance to enable achievement of the 1.5C target
· Urge the global community to support through sustainable financing, capacity building and technology transfer for ecosystem-based approaches to climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction as cost effective tools for all small island developing nations
And we invite and encourage all men and women and groups of good will to endorse this statement by affixing their names at http://www.etc.