Oct 15th, 2009
`. . . ye walk on My earth complacent and self-satisfied, heedless that My earth is weary of you and everything within it shunneth you.’ Bahai writings
The climate has changed. It wasn’t all that long ago that politicians and the media and many of us were wondering whether the predictions about the future could be right. Was there scientific evidence? Wasn’t it just part of a natural cycle? Were we responsible? The political climate was not to accept responsibility, to carry on carrying on, to continue to act in exactly the same way we had always acted.
The climate has changed. Now government after government is trying to figure out how to reduce its carbon emissions, how to adapt to inevitable changes in rainfall, in sea levels, in agricultural production.
The climate has changed. The way we deal with this, as individuals, as communities, as governments, as humanity, will a very large extent, determine the sort of civilization we will live in for many generations.
Engaging in the human discourse on climate change is the responsibility of us all. The Baha’is are calling on world leaders to take climate change seriously, to consider not only the obvious effects
on the physical environment but also the effects on the social environment, on people and the way we live on our planet and in our communities. Here is the statement recently released by the Baha’i International Community and signed by many non-governmental organisations:
Moral and Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change:
Appeal to the World’s Leaders
Drafted by the Bahá’í International Community and signed by many organizations in the lead up to the High Level Event on climate change organized by the United Nations Secretary Genera Ban Ki-moon in September 2009
We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, leaders of the world’s religions and other members of civil society urge the governments of the world to participate in the UN High Level Event on Climate Change through representatives at the highest level and unequivocally call on them to:
– Consider deeply the ethical and moral questions at the root of the climate change crisis – questions of justice and equity that will determine the survival of cultures, ecosystems, and present as well as future generations;
– Recognize that the quest for climate justice is not a competition for limited resources but part of an unfolding process towards greater degrees of unity among nations as they endeavour to build a sustainable, just and peaceful civilization;
– Distinguish their contributions to this High-Level Event by demonstrating trust, justice, solidarity and a vision of prosperity for the most vulnerable populations;
– Demonstrate courage and moral leadership as they articulate the vision and secure the foundations for a comprehensive and legally binding agreement during the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the 5th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in December 2009; and
– Ensure that commitments in all arenas of the climate change challenge are guided by ethical and moral considerations so as to inspire the trust and confidence of individuals, communities and institutions to effect the changes needed to build a sustainable civilization.
– We call on the gathered leaders to summon the same spirit and sense of urgency that led to the creation of the United Nations, to forge a climate change agreement worthy of the trust of humankind.
29 July 2009