30 November 2015 - Environmentally concerned leaders from the three Abrahamic faiths addressed the UK’s largest ever climate change march in London on Sunday, calling on the British government to step up its efforts against climate change and help shift the world to renewable energy, to save the planet from the ravages of dangerous climate change.
Speaking together at the final rally, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner (Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism), Dr Ruth Valerio (Churches and Theology Director, Arocha UK) and Shanza Ali (Director of Muslim Climate Action) told marchers:
“Our relationship with the earth is like our relationships with each other. Every relationship, every person, every life, is precious, and a gift from God that we must treasure. So too we must treasure our relationship with the world. We shoulder the responsibility that comes with stewardship over this planet.
“Right now, something irreversible is happening, something that will destroy the gift we’ve all been given, Christian, Muslim, Jew, people of any faith and none. Our earth is gathering scars and scratches from overuse and abuse. There’s no insurance policy. We can’t replenish lakes and trees, oil and minerals, melting ice caps. But together, we can halt this damaging process.” (Full text below.)
More than 50,000 people took part in the London march. They were joined by singer and activist Charlotte Church, fashion designer and campaigner Vivienne Westwood and musician Thom Yorke.
The march was preceded by an interfaith prayer event at Westminster Synagogue, and led by diaspora communities from countries currently affected by climate change.
Also speaking at the rally at the end of the London march was Voltaire Alferez, former coordinator of the Climate Coalition of the Philippines and a partner of Christian Aid.
“Our country saw the impact of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 which killed more than 6,000 people, separated families and communities and devastated livelihoods,” he said. “Now our compatriots with our government continue to strive to rise above the devastation.
“But we cannot carry on under this kind of new normal. Hence we demand fair and ambitious action from the leaders of the world, particularly from those historically responsible countries, to reduce carbon emissions and sufficiently support vulnerable countries."
The London march was the largest of more than 2,200 climate events around the world, timed to coincide with the start of the United Nations climate talks in Paris on 30th November. The march that had been planned in Paris itself was cancelled by the French authorities.
The London People’s March for Climate was organised by a diverse group of over 60 UK organisations, including Christian Aid, CAFOD, World Jewish Relief, Islamic Relief, MADE in Europe, Tearfund, Quaker Peace and Social Witness and Oil Vay.
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Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk