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Philippine faith communities unite against ‘climate emergency’

Philippine faith communities unite against ‘climate emergency’

Faith leaders and government officials gather for a summit on climate change in Manila on Nov. 23.

By CBCP News

November 25, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Faith leaders from across the religious divide have gathered in Manila to call on the government to show leadership on “climate emergency”.

More than 150 religious leaders attended the landmark dialogue, pressing the policymakers to mitigate climate change.

In a joint declaration, they aim to produce more “eco-centric and people-centric” outcomes for the nation and to inspire Filipinos toward unified moral action on environmental issues.

“We also call on the policymakers to repeal laws and policies, such as the Mining Act of 1995, which contributes to the worsening impact of the climate crisis,” part of the declaration reads.

“We also call on our government to develop cost-effective and inclusive strategies for enacting climate change mitigation and adaptation measures that are participatory, inclusive, and driven by the needs of communities and organization,” it said.

Rodne Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, said that the declaration gives voice to the situation of the Filipino people and “we hope stakeholders realize they cannot but respond when presented with it”.

“The best we can do is to act in solidarity with the vulnerable communities, and to act now,” he said.

The Nov. 23 summit, organized by Living Laudato Si’ Philippines in collaboration with the Climate Change Commission and UniHarmony Partners Manila, is part of the local commemoration of the 12th Annual Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week.

CCC Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, in his keynote message, highlighted the vital role of religious communities in accelerating local climate action.

Rev. Fletcher Harper, executive director of the global interfaith environmental movement Greenfaith, discussed divestment from dirty industries and investing in sustainability as moral and spiritual imperative in the face of climate emergency.

The summit was joined in by representatives from the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Muslims, Hindus, Philippine Independent Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches.

Leaders from the Imam Council of the Philippines, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, United Religions Initiative (International), Focolare Movement, ACT Alliance, various Philippine indigenous peoples communities were also in attendance.