A new campaign is challenging Uniting Church members and people from other faith traditions to live a more environmentally aware lifestyle according to their religious teachings and help save the planet.
Last week, faith communities launched the Time for Living the Change global campaign with eight events across Australian capital cities, including Melbourne, and regional centres.
Participants engaged in interactive workshops, film screenings and musical performances from Aboriginal dance mob, Dusty Feet.
The Uniting Church is one of the supporters of the interfaith initiative, which encourages people to commit to a low-carbon lifestyle by switching to energy-efficient light-bulbs, cutting down meat consumption and reducing car and air travel.
The campaign points out that one passenger’s share of carbon emissions from a five-hour flight is equivalent to what an average Brazilian citizen generates in a year.
Anglican Dean of Brisbane Rev Dr Peter Catt is spokesperson for Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), the multi-faith organisation driving the campaign in Australia.
“Care for creation in all its forms is a moral action, a moral imperative,” he said.
“As our world changes, the most vulnerable among us are bearing the greatest cost of the impacts of climate change.”
The campaign comes in the wake of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report, which warned that the world is running out of time to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Authored by some the world’s leading climate scientists, the report said restricting global warming to 1.5C would require rapid and unprecedented policy and lifestyle changes.
Even half a degree increase in global temperature will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.
The Australian government has rejected the IPCC’s call to phase out coal power by 2050, with new federal Environment Minister Melissa Price arguing that coal is “a very important part of the Australian energy mix”.
Coal generated 62 per cent of Australia’s electricity in 2016-17, while renewable sources like wind and hydro generated only 15.6 per cent.