Interfaith Leaders Gather in Jerusalem to Urge Climate Change Action
Interfaith leaders in Israel put out a call for action on climate change and renewable energy during a Jerusalem conference on Thursday morning, ahead of a major United Nations climate confab.
“The impacts of climate change are being increasingly felt in Jerusalem and the Holy Land,” they noted in a declaration signed at the event, “with more days of extreme heat that any time in the recorded past.”
“Drought has been seen as a cause of war in our region, while wildfires, storms and flooding have intensified,” the declaration continued.
Rabbi Yonatan Neril, head of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, said participants were “calling for political leaders, religious communities, and the wider public to promote a transition to a sustainable future.”
“If there is a crisis,” said Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, the Vatican’s envoy to Israel and Cyprus, who was among several keynote speakers at the conference, “it’s because either we abandoned it, or have we forgotten it, or we have lost interest in it.”
The meeting came ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will begin in Egypt next week. Israel’s delegation will include government ministers, climate experts, and academics, under the leadership of President Isaac Herzog.