In these days of uncertainty, the Religious Youth of Europe, with the support of our friends in other faith-based organizations, come together to call for action on climate justice. The covid-19 pandemic we are currently facing is an immediate threat to lives and livelihoods across the world. However, we must not forget that the climate crisis, too, is a pandemic of epic proportions, threatening the very existence of the Earth and all that depends on it for survival.
The prolonged and continued destruction of Earth, our shared home, directly goes against the values and teachings which we, young people of faith, embrace and uphold. We feel it is our responsibility to speak up against our current way of living, which is causing harm and destruction on a huge scale to our fellow inhabitants of the earth, including human populations and animal populations, and disruptions to the many diverse ecologies within which we exist, and acknowledge that we must reassess our concept of “progress” within the context of eco-justice to achieve a more just and equitable world for all.
We acknowledge that some of us are more fortunate and less affected by the climate emergency. Therefore, we commit ourselves to work on finding solutions and strategies that decrease our carbon footprint and implement them in our daily lives. We will help in creating a greener and more just world, a world that will ensure equality among different people, countries, and continents. It is vital we not only act as individuals, but also hold those in power accountable for their own actions. For this, it is essential to use democratic rights and responsibilities, keeping the less privileged in mind, and to ensure representation of minorities, youth and women in the decision-making processes for peace politics.
In addition, we implore all leaders to prioritise and ensure that those human rights defenders and their families who are working to bring about Eco-Justice, are afforded the social justice and protection needed. As we speak, individuals are already suffering from the displacement caused by the climate emergency and many are forced to migrate as they flee the wars and natural disasters that are a direct cause of humanity's inaction to tackle this crisis.
We urge leaders, both in our communities and around the world to act with intentional solidarity towards those already suffering from the consequences of climate change, towards every living organism and towards the entire world. We urge them to find solutions that are not just profit motivated, but those that ensure solutions for a sustainable environment.
We urge our religious leaders to show the necessary leadership and guide our communities towards a more prosperous and more eco-just world. We urge you to use scriptures, religious teaching, and religious language to set an example for the communities you serve to follow. We remind you to be our leading examples and commit to drawing from our religious beliefs the core tenets of compassion and respect for life as the principles that guide our actions and decision-making.
We acknowledge that our planet not only belongs to us, but to those who are yet to come. Intergenerational solidarity is a minimum that should and must be exercised. We are part of a world bigger than what we can comprehend and have to take the future into consideration. This is our religious and moral belief, we come together, youth from different religions and backgrounds with one common agenda: to address the urgent threat of climate change.
This alarming situation has been caused by humanity and as a result, can only be solved with us uniting to take action. Therefore:
Nora, EYCE: I commit to eat more plant based and sustainable food and avoid food waste.
Emina, EIYN: I commit to stop using plastic (bags, products, bottled water) and to use less
paper and recycle it.
Stina, WSCF-E: I commit to stop flying within Europe and avoid long distance travel.
Florence, FEMYSO: I commit to never stop raising awareness in my own community and use alternatives systems to ensure social justice.
Julie, JBU: I commit to fight for the life and the wellbeing of all living beings, in all my actions.
Mohamed, SGI: I commit to raise awareness and open dialogues about eco justice and human security with as much people as I can and show that this is the path of happiness of the world, the human family and through my own life experiences.
We urge you to join us and be part of the change the world desperately needs. Join us!
Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe
European Interfaith Youth -Youth Network