Buddhists, Anglicans, Catholics, Quakers and people of other faiths joined thousands of concerned Australians in Canberra during the first sitting week of Parliament to stand up for meaningful action on climate change.
More than 70 religious leaders from fifteen countries have signed an open letter, calling on Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani to step away from the Carmichael Coal Project which threatens to destroy the lands of the Wangan and Jagalingou people, kill more of the Great Barrier Reef and further destabilise the climate. They urge him instead to scale up Adani’s renewable energy business.
Three religious leaders and three lay people were arrested on Thursday 5 September, at the site of Adani’s proposed Coal Mine in Central Queensland. Reverend Alex Sangster, Dharmacari Tejopala and Dharmacari Aryadharma refused a move on order by police, along with Christians, Mark Delaney, James Thom and Angela Merriam.
Women Religious and prominent Catholic theologians are among diverse faith leaders who have signed a joint letter asking Mr Gautam Adani to abandon his proposed new coal mine in North Queensland and invest in renewable energy instead.
The start of a push for Catholic divestment from coal, oil and gas extractive industries is now well under way. Another boost was given at World Youth Day via a letter signed by over 120 youth organisations delivered to Pope Francis. In it, they urged him to support fossil fuel divestment and asked him to ensure the Vatican’s own financial institution cuts its ties with extractive industries. A call from young people will no doubt be significant to Pope Francis.
Few papal proclamations have reverberated more strongly throughout the world than Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. Released a year ago, the encyclical was part of a deluge of statements from the major faith traditions in the lead up to the Paris Climate Agreement.