Religious communities are at the forefront of the global effort to mitigate global climate change and engage in efforts to adapt to its consequences. Earlier this year, Pope Francis’ statement to the world’s Roman Catholics — “Laudato si’: On Care for Our Common Home” — received great attention. “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation,” it said.
An International Islamic Climate Change Symposium held in August called on Muslims to protect the environment and “recognize the moral obligation to reduce consumption so that the poor may benefit from what is left of the Earth’s non-renewable resources.”
There is increasing concern regarding respect and care for the environment, and religious groups are active in promoting stewardship of the earth and conservation, and advocating for social change.
For approximately a year and a half, the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs has convened and participated in a series of roundtables, briefings, and speaking engagements to bring together officials in the U.S. government that work on climate policy with religion-related institutions and organizations that deal with climate issues.
This ongoing dialogue and discussion will continue on November 9-10 at the Symposium for Religion and Climate Change that the Office of Religion and Global Affairs is co-sponsoring with the Berkley Center at Georgetown University. The Symposium will assemble a group of religious leaders, representatives of faith-based NGOs, scholars, and U.S. government officials to address the complex intersection of faith, science, and policy that surrounds the challenge of global climate change.
On November 9, Georgetown will convene panels and discussions to address the moral and theological underpinnings of the climate action movement, and the connections between climate, justice, and poverty. You can find out more information here. On November 10, the Symposium continues at the Department of State and the White House. Follow @SpecialRepCasey on Twitter and “like” the Office of Religion and Global Affairs’ Facebook page for more information and updates about the Symposium.
As we move closer to the global climate change negotiations in Paris (COP-21) later this year, religious actors, along with members of the business, NGO, and security communities, are among the critical players in the pursuit of a successful United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
About the Author: Shaun Casey serves as the Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs in the State Department.
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Source; U.S Department of State
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