Living the Change is a globally-connected community of religious and spiritual institutions, along with leading experts in the field of sustainable consumption practices. Through commitments in the areas of diet, transportation, and energy use, they seek to create a worldwide community of conscience and practice to drive lifestyle-related reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
Living the Change Campaign
Living the Change began as part of the interfaith communities global response to the Special Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on "Global Warming of 1.5ºC", and continued through the opening of the United Nations’ climate change conference COP24 in Katowice, Poland. The first campaign was held between October and December 2018, and diverse religious and spiritual communities organized more than 100 local sustainability events in 25 countries across 6 continents.
We believe everyone can become part of the solution to climate change, and it will take all of us working together for our shared future. We know what must be done, and we have the ability to start taking action today. We are all environmental stewards, united in the responsibility and the blessing to care for our common home. We feel love and concern for the billions of living beings with whom we share this planet. We have the knowledge and skills to help make a healthier, happier future for all. During the most challenging times, we are reminded how truly we are all in this together.
Many notable Muslim leaders have joined the campaign including Imam Zaid Shakir, Dr. Ingrid Mattson and Imam Ibrahima Saidy among other prominent Muslim acamedics, theologians, community leaders and environmental champions. Over the next several weeks, Khaleafa will be featuring their stories, highlighting the importance to take action on climate change.
Interfaith Statement “Walk on Earth Gently”
During COP23, Living the Change published and delivered the Interfaith Statement “Walk on Earth Gently”. This call for climate action was signed by distinguished faith leaders, clergy, theologians, scholars, climate advocates, and community members. They represent many of the world religions: Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity (Anglican/Episcopal, Baptist, Roman-Catholic, Franciscan, Jesuit, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian), Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Quaker, Unitarian, and Zen.
WALK ON EARTH GENTLY
A MULTI-FAITH INVITATION TO SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLES
Earth is a blessing. She supports life and is the basis of all our economies. She conveys beauty and evokes our recognition of something greater than ourselves. She is our temple, our mosque, our sanctuary, our cathedral. Our home.
Our actions now threaten the delicate balance of life on Earth, with climate change posing a most grave danger. Record numbers of severe storms, droughts, fires, and related catastrophes leave trauma and grief in their wake. Recent months have witnessed the tragedy of such occurrences in the Caribbean, the US, and India. We shudder over the enormity of this suffering and over what more lies ahead.
For thousands of years, our traditions have taught us to care for Earth. This responsibility has become urgent in recent decades. Our misuse of Earth’s generosity, while improving conditions for many, is not improving them for all and is fraying the web of life. The most vulnerable among us, those least responsible for this global threat, suffer the impacts of a warming climate unfairly and unjustly.
We have begun to respond, raising consciousness and starting to consume more sustainably. We have implored leaders to act. We have studied, prayed and petitioned, advocated, marched and mobilized. We have awakened to the urgent challenge and begun to change our ways.
However, we are at a crossroads. The Paris Agreement affirmed limiting temperature rise to well below 2⁰C, while pursuing efforts to a far safer 1.5⁰C limit. Our friends from Fiji and small island states, understanding the stakes and underscoring the science, have told us “1.5 to stay alive.” Yet we are currently headed for warming of 3⁰C or more, perilously beyond this limit
This challenge is both dire and urgent. It calls for us to act.
As religious and spiritual leaders, we are committing to make changes in our own lives, and to support the members of our communities in doing the same. Together, we come to you with an invitation to embark on a journey towards compassionate simplicity for the sake of the climate, the human family, and the community of life. For many of us, changes in three areas make the greatest impact: dramatically reducing emissions from our home energy use, adopting a plant-based diet and reducing food waste, and minimizing automobile and air travel. Because of the gravity of our situation, substantial and long-term changes in these areas are indispensable if we are to reach a 1.5⁰C future, particularly for those of us in communities whose carbon footprints exceed sustainable levels. We pledge our commitment to such change.
Through this collective effort, we look forward to creating a global community of conscience and practice in which we learn to put belief into action in relation to our own lifestyles. Our spiritual and faith communities will give us hope and companions for this journey. We will share ideas, materials, and stories of struggle and success. Our practices of mindfulness, spiritual discipline and prayer will enable us to grow. These ancient teachings and practices, and our renewed commitments and willingness to strive, will help us build pathways towards a sustainable future.
We wish to be clear that we understand that systemic change is required to solve this crisis. We will continue to advocate for the policies that are so urgently needed. However, we also believe that individual commitments and behaviors are as important in addressing climate change as they are in addressing poverty, racism, and other grave social ills. And we know that our spiritualities and traditions offer wisdom about finding happiness in a purposeful life, family and friendships, not in an overabundance of things. The world needs such wisdom; it is our privilege both to share and to seek to embody it.
We invite you to join the many others willing to walk this path by adding your name to this document, and by preparing to make commitments in the three areas named above. The diverse groups coming together in this moment will reach out to invite you to become involved in a programme of support and action which will take shape over the coming year.
Let us pray and hope we can come together in love for each other, those who suffer from climate change, future generations, and planet Earth.