Carbon pledges made at Lambeth interfaith forum

Lord Marland applauds different faiths working together to find practical ways of tackling climate change

A  range of carbon lifestyle pledges were hung on the historic fig tree at Lambeth Palace on 21st March at an Interfaith Seminar on Environment & Sustainability attended by religious and political leaders and representatives of all major faiths.

The pledges, which covered shopping, business practice, energy suppliers and travel as well as a green-friendly wedding and a commit to knit promise, were all hung on the 450 year old tree in the Palace gardens.

The seminar was organised by the Church of England’s national environmental campaign Shrinking the Footprint partnered by the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS).

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Chief Rabbi, Dr. Jonathan Sacks and Lord Marland, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change all supported the event sponsored by the British Council.

Lord Marland said: “I really applaud the different faiths working together to find practical ways of tackling climate change at national and community level. Stewardship of creation, concern for the world’s poor and a responsibility to safeguard natural resources for future generations are moral and spiritual obligations found at the heart of all the major faiths. They are also at the heart of the climate change challenge.

“People of faith have much to contribute, leading by example, encouraging behaviour change and placing sustainability at the centre of our home, community and working lives. You also have a crucial role in encouraging religious and political leaders around the world to push harder to reach a binding agreement limiting global carbon emissions.”

The seminar was a follow-on to a meeting of Faith leaders in 2009 that resulted in the land-mark Lambeth Declaration in the run up to the UN Climate Talks at Copenhagen.

Delegates renewed their pledge to the Declaration during the seminar programme which included keynote speakers and workshops covering a range of areas relating to environment and sustainability: energy conservation & places of worship, the theological basis of environmental stewardship, using green spaces to enhance faith and community and education for all ages – including leaders.

David Shreeve, the Church of England’s national environment adviser said: “This is the second in a series of seminars which shows the crucial role of faith communities in environmental concerns at both local and national level. We hope that the Lambeth Declaration will provide opportunities to share positive examples and experiences to benefit the way our faiths operate together.”