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Religious leaders commit to protecting the Planet and combatting climate change

Religious world leaders gathered to call on G7 ministers to protect our Planet, to “transform this desert into a forest”. And send them a letter to encourage cooperation and peace.

Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus have the same goal at heart: protecting our environment and common home. We live in a world made up of diverse religions and it’s beautiful to see how we can all work together and overcome conflicts in the name of a common will. This was the starting point for the interfaith dialogue held in Bologna, Italy, organized by Connect4Climate in preparation for the G7 Environment.

interfaith dialogue
Religious leader met in an interfaith dialogue to urge G7 ministers to do more to protect our Planet © Connect4Climate

As part of the All4TheGreen week, religious leaders gathered to urge the G7 Environment Ministers to boldly act on climate change and environmental protection. Faith representatives engaged in dialogue about how their faith traditions call for environmental protection and to express the importance of protecting our Earth, our Our Common Home, and to highlight the important role religions can take in tackling climate change. “Never stop looking for consensus among governments to protect Our Common Home,” said Mons. Matteo Maria Zuppi, Archbishop of Greater Bologna, during the interfaith dialogue.

The Earth is not a possession but a partner on our journey

In a letter sent to the interfaith dialogue, H.H. Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, wrote: “Let us remind our nations that the Earth is not a possession but a partner on our journey.” His words were shared with the leaders present in Cappela Farnese where a message from Pope Francis was also delivered. “Action is the key word in order to transform this desert into a forest”, reminded the Holy Father.

Religious leaders sign a letter to be delivered at G7 Environment asking the ministers to protect the Planet.
Religious leaders sign a letter to be delivered at G7 Environment asking the ministers to protect the Planet © Connect4Climate

During the interfaith dialogue, the multi-religious leaders, in a call for world leaders to act on climate change, emphasized the urgency of developing a global green economy and building a more efficient, conscious and mindful society in order to end poverty. As Reverend Russel emphasized, “we cannot address poverty without addressing environmental protection and climate change.”

We must make the Earth a better place for all 

The faith representatives also underlined the imperative for humanity to moderate its consumption and conserve a healthy environment for all living beings. “Mankind has an obligation to make the planet a better home for all”, stressed Alfonso Arbib, President of the Assemblea Rabbinica dell’Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane.

Religious leaders sign a letter to be delivered at G7 Environment asking the ministers to protect the Planet.
Religious leaders sign a letter to be delivered at G7 Environment asking the ministers to protect the Planet © Connect4Climate

The Bologna Interfaith Charter 

As a result of this meeting, the religious representatives signed the “Bologna Interfaith Charter: Living Our Values, Acting for Our Common Home”, which was delivered to the G7 Environment Ministers on the opening day of their meeting. The Charter states that “The Bologna G7 Environment Meeting is taking place at a moment of both great peril and great promise. With the Paris Agreement in danger, we must do everything possible to ensure its successful implementation. Due to the scale and pace of harm that has already been inflicted upon our planet, we are the last generation who can turn this crisis around before it is too late. At the same time, implementing climate change solutions creates new opportunities to improve human well-being and promote a more just economy.”

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