“Easter is a celebration of life,” the letter reads. “In order to celebrate life all people need to flourish, but we acknowledge that Australians have been enduring dark days – with droughts, bushfires, severe storms and massive floods.”
The church leaders reflect that damage to the climate is a key contributing factor to these disasters. “Yet among these shared struggles there is Easter, a message of hope,” the letter reads. “The greater challenge of preventing such disasters in the future requires systemic transformation.”
The letter urges government leaders to heed the advice of climate experts to reduce carbon emissions.
“Churches along with other institutions in civil society and the business community must examine our own practices so we can help reverse damage to the climate,” reads the letter.
Among the signatories of the letter is Bishop Philip Huggins, director of the Centre for Ecumenical Studies at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.
He joins other churches leaders in urging Australia’s government leaders to stop the nation’s climate change isolationism.
“Consistent with the purposes of the Paris Agreement, Australia now has obligations with a timeline,” reflected Huggins. “You would not know this from current pre-election discourse.”
Huggins believes the obligations are entirely sensible. “There is no hiding place from the consequences of climate change,” he said. “We must contain carbon emissions if we are to prevent global temperatures rising beyond the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Agreement.”
Yet Australian politicians are not yet connected with this reality, Huggins added. “The justice issue is that those who have had least to do with causing climate change will continue to suffer the worst consequences,” he said. “That includes our own young people as well as our neighbours in the Pacific.”
On a personal level, Huggins said he looks at his grandchildren and fears for their future. “We are still in the early days of this election campaign,” he said. “The politics around climate change must become more just and more internationally responsible.”
Huggings insisted that proceeding on a path that feeds global warming would be extraordinarily stupid as well as unjust.
“More inspired leadership, in coming weeks, would give our young people and our Pacific neighbours the possibility of real optimism and hope for the future,” he said. “Wouldn’t that be wonderful!”
Source: WCC News