After Paris: Five Global Interfaith Climate Leaders To Inspire Americans

The voice of the faith community was the sound heard around the world when a few countries decided not to make climate a priority. It was the same case for America when the President pulled away from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Aside from the over 250 faith organizations that stepped forward to act on climate, these individuals have been at the forefront of climate action and can be an inspiration to all.

1 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama encourages partnership. Climate change impacts everyone and His Holiness believes that working together on this collective issue can make a world of difference.

“The world has become so interdependent, both in terms of our economies on the one hand and dealing with challenges like climate change that affect us all on the other, that such an approach is completely out of date. We need a new way of thinking to suit our new reality. We have to learn to live side by side.” –His Holiness the Dalai Lama

2 – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The idea of divestment isn’t new, but lately, it carries a lot of weight. Archbishop Tutu is a leader among many people of faith that have not only committed to the idea of divestment but have actually made it happen.

“Divestment played a key role in helping liberate South Africa. The corporations understood money even when they weren’t swayed by morality. Climate change is a deeply moral issue, too.” –Archbishop Desmond Tutu

3 – Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit

With an understanding of climate change, Americans should hope for improvement. What role can individuals and organizations play? According to Reverend Tveit, changing our approach to climate solutions can help the cause.

“If we know, as we do, that our action has an impact on the environment, we must also believe that our action can have a positive effect. Acknowledging the climate crisis should not paralyze us but push us to change.” –Rev. Olav Fyske Tveit

4 – Ven. Santussika Bhikkhuni

Caring for the Earth is a divine calling in most religions. Ven Santussika Bhikkhuni speaks with the wisdom of his Buddhist teachings and says that humans should aim for sustainability.

“The Dharma encourages us to take a hard look at what is happening, mindfully experience the feelings that arise, and seek out appropriate action to extract ourselves from these destructive practices. We need to set a new course for our society towards wholesome, sustainable, and compassionate living.” –Ven. Santussika Bhikkhuni

5 – Gretchen Castle

Because work on climate calls for partnership, it creates interfaith unity. Gretchen Castle of FWCC leads climate work for her organization and inspires others around the world to do the same.

“We have the knowledge of what is happening and why.  We seek wisdom in our own lives, in our national and international policies, to transform our human behavior which feeds these planetary crises.” –Gretchen Castle

For more interfaith inspiration, follow us on Twitter to read our ‘Verse of the Week’ and ‘Wednesday Wisdom’ quote.


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