Australian religious and political leaders have supported an open letter from 15 Pacific leaders to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, asking him to take climate action ahead of a United Nations summit next week. Source: Edmund Rice Centre.
The Open Letter, signed by high profile Pacific political and religious figures, including Cardinal John of Port Moresby and Suva Archbishop Peter Chong calls for Mr Morrison to double Australia’s Nationally Determined Contribution, cancel the controversial Kyoto credits and commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd and former Liberal opposition leader John Hewson have supported the letter. Catholic supporters include Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Columban leader Fr Peter O’Neill, Sisters of Saint Joseph congregational leader Sr Monica Cavanagh, Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart provincial Sr Philipa Murphy and Christian Brothers Oceania provincial Br Gerard Brady.
Mr Rudd said: “Climate change remains the greatest moral challenge of our generation and poses an existential risk to our Pacific Island family. [The open] letter demonstrates just how much the Australian government’s failure to act is a slap in the face to the Pacific, especially at a time when the government is trying to step-up its own engagement in the region.”
Archbishop Coleridge said: “Climate change in the Pacific is a matter of life and death. That’s why it’s important for Australians, including our political leaders, to hear the voice of the Pacific peoples. As Pope Francis has said in his new encyclical letter, ‘We are all brothers and sisters’. The fate of the Pacific is our fate too.”