In this series, Faith & the Common Good looks at perspectives concerning the intersections of climate breakdown, faith and moral duty, and examines the role of religious leaders in advancing climate protection. We talk to faith leaders, climate experts and influencers to get a better understanding of the gaps that currently exist and what proactive action should be taken, or is being done in this respect.
In almost all religions and faith philosophies, the stewardship of creation is a major directive. Taking care of the vulnerable is implied. Climate change is destroying the sacred creation and harming the most vulnerable among us — the ones least responsible for this climate breakdown. That’s why religious leaders have a critical role to play in advancing climate protection action: they are in the position to give the climate change debate a moral tone, and bring to the fore, true principles.
While famous faith leaders such as Pope Francis, the bishops of the Church of England, and the Dalai Lama are speaking up for climate and ecojustice, we need the voices of the imams, rabbis, bishops, priests, and monks in our communities to communicate to their congregations the urgent need to act on behalf of our climate.
The future of climate needs the weight and influence of their voices because if our local faith leaders are not treating climate change like the emergency it is, how can we expect the people they lead to be concerned?
Faith leaders must have the courage to speak out about the climate emergency, not only to congregants, but also to our political leaders, and in doing so model an example of strength and hope to the rest of the world.
First article in this series: Calling on Ontario Faith Leaders to Stand Up for the Climate