Poppy Johnston reports (Australian Associated Press 13 October 2022) on the move by a hundred religious leaders in Australia to call on Prime Minister Tony Albanese to stop approving new cola and gas projects
One hundred religious leaders from a range of faith communities have signed an open letter calling on the Albanese government to stop approving new coal and gas projects.
The letter addressed to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese calls for no more public subsidies for fossil fuels – which totalled $11.6 billion last financial year – and for support for coal and gas workers to transition into more sustainable industries.
The Anglican primate of Australia, the president of the Uniting Church in Australia, the president of the National Council of Churches, the grand mufti of Australia and the president of the Australian National Imams Council have all put their names to the cause.
Since taking office, the Albanese government has managed to enshrine a 43 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 into legislation.
“We are grateful for your government’s efforts to take the climate crisis seriously,” the letter said.
“Yet Australia is a wealthy country that profits from exports that are causing the crisis.
“We hear the cries of anguish from those most vulnerable in the human family who are losing their lives, livelihoods and homes through climate-fuelled disasters.”
The religious leaders also want First Nations peoples’ rights to protect country respected, and for Australia to restart its contributions to the United Nations Green Climate Fund.
Australia stopped contributing to the fund, which is the UN’s key vehicle for tackling climate change, under the coalition government in 2019.
“The current level of warming is not safe,” the letter states.
“This moment in history calls for an urgent, courageous, visionary response, especially from those in power.”