A multi-faith delegation of key religious and spiritual leaders from around the world will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark from December 7-13, 2009 during the UN COP-15 Summit, to further the vital notion that the environmental crisis is rooted in a profound moral and spiritual crisis.
The gathering’s messaging will focus on the need to bring climate change action back to grass roots and to “help the public understand the moral and spiritual issues that are at stake, and inspire them to make changes in their lives.”
The delegation will include Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and Indigenous leaders. Included will be religious and spiritual leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Denmark, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Senegal, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam. The largest delegation will be from the United States, led by the Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, former General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and the Chair and one of the founders of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment.
Together, the religious leaders present will call for a new global partnership between political, economic, scientific and spiritual leaders to strengthen efforts to implement the framework to be proposed during the conference. They will lay out specific steps that individuals can take to help shift the way we relate to earth’s resources, for example, engaging in a more mindful relationship to the consumption of meat. (According to a recent report from the Worldwatch Institute, the meat industry emits more carbon into the atmosphere than the entire global transportation system. It is also a major emitter of methane, which is a greater contributor to climate change than is carbon dioxide.)
The delegation of religious leaders is being organized by the Global Peace Initiative of Women, an international, multi-faith network of women religious and spiritual leaders.
For more information, visit to http://www.gpiw.org/copenhagen.html.
Visit the Shambhala Sun’s special collection of teachings and writings on the Buddhism and the Environment for more on the subject.