More than 100 Australian faith groups have teamed up to demand greater action on climate change

Faith leaders around the country have held protests urging the Morrison government to commit to more action on climate change, as part of a global movement.

A protest outside Prime Minister Scott Morrison's electoral office on Thursday.

A protest outside Prime Minister Scott Morrison's electoral office on Thursday. Source: Supplied

Faith leaders across Australia have held a day of protest for more government action on climate change. 

A group of a dozen people sat in meditation outside New South Wales Parliament house in Sydney on Thursday morning, as part of a silent protest calling on the Morrison government to submit higher emissions reduction targets.

Director of the Buddhist Council of NSW Gawaine Powell Davies said that while some protests are loud, others "draw attention by being very quiet”.

“What we are wanting to do is lend the voices of faith to demands that governments and others move quickly on the climate catastrophe before it’s too late,” he said.

“As a Buddhist, I have a strong sense that we are connected to all of creation and that we need to have a care for everything, and if we don’t we will all suffer."

A protest outside a church in Melbourne.
A protest outside a church in Melbourne. Source: Supplied

The event was one of over 100 protests that took place around Australia on Thursday morning at religious locations and offices of senior federal politicians. 

It was part of a multi-faith climate justice event called ‘Sacred People, Sacred Earth’ coinciding with faith events around the world.

In Australian capital cities, church bells cities rang their bells, Islamic calls to prayer rang out and Jewish Rabbi’s blew the Shofar horn.

One of the key demands of the movement is that Australia sets a target to reach net zero emissions by 2030.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously said that our goal is "to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible, and preferably by 2050".

However, he has declined to formally set the target, unlike other nations like the United Kingdom and Japan.

In a statement to SBS News a spokesperson for Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Australia was on track to meet and beat its 2030 Emission Reduction Target.

“Our emissions have fallen faster than many other countries, and significantly faster than the OECD or G20 averages,” they said.

“This is thanks to the Morrison Government’s real and practical action to reduce emissions while maintaining a strong economy.

“Action and outcomes are what matter, and our track record is one that all Australians can be proud of."

3 min read
Published 11 March 2021 at 3:28pm
By Jarni Blakkarly