Moderator Jordan Cantwell, along with 25 other Canadian faith leaders, has endorsed the statement On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada, available on the Canadian Council of Churches’ website. This statement represents a meeting of the minds and hearts of many diverse faith organizations, including the World Buddhist Council, World Sikh Organization of Canada, and a broad range of Christian denominations.
The faith leaders directly connect global climate change to poverty, stating that “these twin challenges are linked by a spiritual, moral and ethical human crisis that can be expressed in this question: how will Canadians act as a good neighbour in both the natural and human communities since in the long run the health of one depends on the health of the other?” It highlights the importance of building new relationships of mutuality and respect with Indigenous peoples in Canada, as they have long experienced the effects of poverty and are commonly the first to experience the effects of climate change.
In advance of the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21, to be held this December in Paris), the statement calls on Canadian leaders to create “a comprehensive plan, with the appropriate policies in place and the full encouragement of Canadians, to keep our promise to reduce emissions, meet or surpass the agreed targets, and so do our part in slowing the effects of climate change.” A United Church delegation will bring this call for leadership on climate change to the COP21.
The statement also calls for the federal government to
- develop, legislate, and implement a federal plan for poverty implementation
- respond fully to the recommendations directed to the government in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools
In responding to this call to action you are invited to