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The Archbishop of Canterbury urges faith leaders to ‘lead by example’ at climate summit

Representatives of the the world’s religions gathered at the Global Leaders Faith Summit in Abu Dhabi today. They all signed a powerful document, committing themselves to addressing climate change.

The Archbishop of Canterbury emphasized the challenges that millions of Christians are dealing with as a result of climate crisis: “From different corners of the world, the stories are – quite literally – flooding in of the consequences of the abuse of our planet – consequences that are being borne by our brothers and sisters who have done the least to cause the problem. Christians believe that God has called us to care for the climate and for our neighbour, to seek the welfare of the poor and bring about justice. A crisis borne of injustice, which causes such suffering to those who already live in poverty and insecurity, and which threatens God’s own Earth, is one that demands our attention and our action.”

Justin Welby joined 27 other faith leaders, including Professor Mohamed Al-Duweini, the representative of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar; Cardinal Pietro Parolin, representing Pope Francis; along with agents of other major religious traditions – Hindu, Sikh, etc. The appeal they signed is a call for the acceleration of energy transitions, protection of the Earth, living in harmony with nature, and the rapid adoption of clean energy.

The Church of England has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030; entirely de-investing in fossil fuels. This derived from a 2022 conference on climate policies, which was attended by Bishops from 165 countries.

The Archbishop added: “Faith leaders represent the majority of people across the world, from both developed and developing countries. We can demonstrate to world leaders that people of faith want to see, and are willing to support, change. We can lead by example, and let world leaders know they have a mandate for bold, ambitious decision making at COP28.”


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