Washington: Global environmental organisation EcoSikh represented the Sikh community at a major prayer gathering of various faith leaders outside the US State Department to amplify the issue of climate emergency ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. A rally was held as a follow-up event to the “Faith and Science” conference hosted by Pope Francis where faith leaders jointly issued an appeal to the world leaders for setting ambitious targets to address the issue of climate change, the group said in a statement on Tuesday.
Jesse Young, Senior Advisor to Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry, received the copy of the statement from the faith leaders. The COP26 in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12 is the last ray of hope as the earth faces an unprecedented ecological crisis, it said.
“It is upon us all to take action against this present crisis, it is our responsibility to make sure that our politicians take required action for the best of humanity,” said EcoSikh president Rajwant Singh, who is one of the four American signatories to the appeal. “Religions of the world are yet to realise the potential impact they can have. Today’s gathering is an important occasion in this direction,” he said. According to Young, faiths have a real voice to bring to this process.
“We need you to lift up us to do the right thing. Hold us accountable when we fall short. We need your voices, we need your communities. We need your work to preserve our national natural heritage and God’s creation,” Young said.
“As people of faith and conscience, we understand that the climate crisis is a spiritual crisis and that our faiths call us to prioritise the health and well-being of those who are most vulnerable,” said Reverend Susan Hendershot, president of Interfaith Power and Light.
“Climate disasters and pollution are bringing death and destruction to communities in the US and globally. It is our sacred calling to act. The US has a moral responsibility to accelerate ambition and care for the most vulnerable people at COP26,” he added.