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Australian religious leaders call for greater emissions reduction targets



Anglican, Hindu and Buddhist leaders have written to members of the Australian Parliament asking for ambitious post-2020 emissions reduction targets, which are a ‘moral imperative’ to protect future generations.

In a letter to members of the Parliament a group of leaders from various religious traditions has urged the country to set an emission target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2025 and 80%  by 2030.

Signatories also asked to increase Australia’s offer to the UN Climate Fund. Political forces in the country have agreed on 5% emissions reduction target a below 2000 pollution levels by 2020.

Thea Ormerod, president of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) said, “We have a duty to this generation and the generations to come to protect the world around us. To do so, we need to cut pollution in line with the recommendation of scientific experts.

“The current target fails to live up to our responsibilities as a nation. It is fundamentally immoral. It is shameful for a relatively wealthy country to be putting forward targets below the offerings of other nations with comparable economies.”

Signatories include Kim Hollow, president of the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils, senior Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins and Andrew Dutney head of Uniting Church of Australia National Assembly.

Earlier this months, Australia’s PM argued the country should not set higher targets, given that coal and natural gas account for the most of its export.

However, the letter suggest this should instead lead to greater ambition.

It is an opportunity to play our part in addressing the common environmental challenge humanity faces. It would not only create a safer, more stable climate for Australia and other vulnerable countries; it would also bring added economic benefits, through the strengthening of sustainable technology sectors and the creation of new employment opportunities”, the letter states.

Photo:  Ian Barbour via Flickr


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