The Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews (ANDCMJ) issued a joint statement, affirming their commitment to care for human life and the natural world for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland,
“A TIME TO ACT TOGETHER”
A CALL BY JEWISH, MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN AUSTRALIA
The Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews, a joint initiative of three peak bodies – the National Council of Churches in Australia, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the Executive Council of Australian Jewry – was formed over 20 years ago in recognition of our common humanity and the values we commit to as Australians.
During October and November, the United Kingdom will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow (31 October – 12 November 2021). The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Around 200 countries will negotiate the challenge of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
As representatives of the three peak bodies today we affirm our common commitment to care for human life and the natural world. We share a belief in a hopeful future, as well as an obligation to be responsible in caring for our common home, the Earth. As people of faith we are grounded in our awareness of the sacredness of life, God’s presence in us and all around us.
In the Christian scriptures, we read that Jesus says of the birds of the air that “not one of them is forgotten before God” (Luke 12:6). How then can we mistreat creation or cause it harm?
“Glory be to Him who created all pairs (of male and female), of that which the earth grows, and of themselves, and of that which they know not.” (Qur’an 36:36).
“There is not an animal on the earth, nor a flying creature flying with two wings, but they are nations like you. We have neglected nothing in the book. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.” (Qur’an 6:38).
In the Torah, we are commanded to serve and preserve the earth (Genesis 2:15), and our sages emphasise this teaching: “Be careful not to ruin and destroy My world, for if you ruin it, there will be no one else to fix it.” – Kohelet Rabbah 7:13
It is time for the nations of the world to act together. These meetings will be critical for humanity’s collective future.
We look to our Australian government to work together with others to build a sustainable world where addressing climate change is not just an opportunity to stop burning fossil fuels, but also to achieve clean air and water, to reduce food wastage, to ensure a just and equitable sharing of the earth’s resources, and to protect the habitats we share with all other life on our planet and on whose health we depend.
We recognise that we must meet our responsibilities today if we, and future generations, are not to suffer the costs of our neglect in times to come.
Across our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change our ways to ensure a quality of life which all can share.
Our collective energy and prayers will be with those working for a successful outcome.
Signed by the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Ms Elizabeth Stone
National Council of Churches in Australia (NCAA)
Dr. Rateb Jneid
Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC)
Mr Jeremy Jones AM
Honorary Life Member
Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ)
With thanks to the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews.