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15 March, 2021

Religious leaders ask Entsch to act in good faith

Cairns people of faith, including representatives of Christian and Buddhist groups, gathered at Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch’s office last Thursday, to thank him for advancing the discussion on climate change and ask him for stronger legislation to meet climate targets.

Cairns people of faith including the Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Center’s Venerable Rinchen, and Anglican Priest Neil Forgie (right) at Warren Entsch’s office last Thursday.

The gathering was part of the international ‘Sacred People, Sacred Earth’ day of action, which saw simultaneous events held globally and across Australia, including gatherings at the offices of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

The Day of Action centres on the “Sacred People, Sacred Earth” Statement signed by religious leaders around the world, including the Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the senior Vatican spokesperson, Cardinal Turkson.

Australian signatories include Bishop Philip Huggins, President of the National Council of Churches and senior Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders.

The Cairns event was organised by the Cairns branch of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), part of GreenFaith International.

Members of the Cairns religious community marched to Warren Entsch's office on Thursday.

Congregants thanked Mr Entsch for his recent opinion piece published in The Guardian, making the case for Net Zero climate targets by 2050.

However, the congregants urged the Federal Government to go further and legislate net-zero targets by 2030, in accordance with climate science and international trends, ahead of the United National Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in November.

“Climate change is no longer a matter for debate,” said Cairns Anglican Priest, Reverend Neil Forgie.

“We know what we must do, and we know change will come. The only question is how much harm we allow before we say enough is enough.

We are united by the belief that all people, all living things and the earth are Sacred. We ask that Scott Morrison listen to fellow people of faith and those in his own government, such as Warren Entsch, urging the Government to commit to net zero emissions.

“We ask that Scott Morrison fulfills his moral duty to future generations and legislate a goal for net zero emissions by 2030.”

The Venerable Rinchen, who facilitates the Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Center, also spoke at the event.

“As living beings that share this precious planet with many other living beings, we have an enormous responsibility to maintain the eco balance of this sacred earth,” she said.

“At present we are the cause of massive destruction which is impacting the climate and habitats of all living creatures, including us.

“Buddhism advocates a life of non-violence which includes not only all living creatures but the sacred earth as well. Act now to save the “Sacred People, Sacred Earth.”

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