Grassroots petition at 25,000 signatures and growing

Faith leaders at Parliament House last week (Supplied)

Some 25,000 people have signed a petition calling for stronger action on climate change, a coalition of faith-based organisations announced yesterday.

Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus have been pounding the nation’s pavements collecting signatures in mosques, churches, high schools and local businesses in what may be one of the largest grassroots, multi-electorate climate petitions in our nation’s history.

According to last year’s census, 60 per cent of Australians identify with a religion and this electorate-based Community Climate Petition, an old style pen and paper petition driven on the ground by individuals of multiple faiths has already reached 94 electorates.

The petition is supported by a coalition of faith-based organisations including the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Caritas Australia, Catholic Earthcare, Common Grace, Edmund Rice Centre, Pacific Calling Partnership, TEAR Australia and the Uniting Church in Australia.

It urges political leaders to support deeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a faster transition to a clean energy economy and better support for our poorest neighbours grappling with the impacts of climate change.

In a symbol of unity, faith leaders from the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Quaker and Christian communities gathered on the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra, last week to call for strong bi-partisan action on climate change.

For Negaya Chorley, Caritas Australia’s Head of Advocacy, there is both a “moral imperative” and an urgent need to take action.

“The impacts of climate change are increasingly being felt across Australia and the world, including extreme weather events of greater frequency and ferocity, an alarming depletion in our natural heritage including the Great Barrier Reef and drought induced famines affecting millions of people," Ms Chorley said.

“This year is an important one with the Australian government reviewing its climate change policies. The petition is an example of the widespread community support for stronger emissions targets.”


People of faith lead largest grassroots climate petition in Australia's history (Coalition of faith-based communities)

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