Faith leaders turn up the heat on climate debate

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Media Release

In a remarkable show of unity, prominent faith leaders from diverse religious backgrounds are calling for bipartisan support of a carbon price in the lead up to the 2013 federal election.

The leaders have signed an open letter organised by the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, and will be commenting publicly at an official launch in Sydney this Thursday. The letter adds moral weight to calls for the winding back of coal exports and for greater investment in clean, renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The sixteen signatories include the Grand Mufti of Australia, the President of the Uniting Church Assembly, Senior Rabbi of The Great Synagogue in Sydney, and the Chair of the Hindu Council of Australia.

The Grand Mufti, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, said, “We urge all Australians to give this moral issue the attention it demands. If we don’t, our children and grandchildren will face devastating consequences because of our failure to act now.”

The leaders are calling upon Australia to be a part of the global solution to climate change. They warn of an unthinkable 4° C rise in temperatures without urgent action, stating in the letter, “Our world is a blessing, a gift, and a responsibility. We must act now if we are to protect this sacred trust.”

In the 2011 Census, over 67 per cent of Australians identified themselves with the religions from which the signatories are drawn. Politicians competing for public support cannot afford to brush the leaders’ stand aside.

For the full text of the open letter and signatories see


For photos and interviews with signatories and spokespersons:

What: ceremonial prayer vigil and press conference
Date: Thursday, July 4th prayer vigil 10am and press conference 10.15am
Where: Pitt St Uniting Church, 264 Pitt St, Sydney

Available for comment:

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins (Jewish) – 0409 456 939 or
Professor Nihal Agar (Hindu) – 0412 618 893 or
Mr Keysar Trad (spokesperson for Muslim signatories) – 0410 336 922 or
Rev. Dr Brian Brown (Uniting Church) – 0408 421 744 or
Ms Jacqui Remond (Catholic spokesperson for Archbishop Philip Wilson) – 0413 715 375 or

A complete list of signatories available for comment can be provided on request.

Media contact person: Ms Thea Ormerod, President of Australian Religious Response to Climate Change – 0405 293 466 or