His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, has remained outspoken on the issue of climate change, expressing concern over its impact on the Tibetian Plateau, or 'roof of the world.' This week, His Holiness urged strong climate leadership in Paris with the "Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders," a document signed by 15 Buddhist leaders, including the Dalai Lama.
Citing Pope Francis Encyclical, Laudato Si as inspiration, the Tibetan edict insists that COP21 delegates must take swift action during their negotiations scheduled for next month. With strong Buddhist teachings at the helm, the document remains fixed on practical, real-world solutions to the climate crisis.
The document outlines four key steps to successful negotiations at UNFCCC:
- To be guided by the moral dimensions of climate change as indicated in Article 3 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
- To agree to phase out fossil fuels and move towards 100 percent renewables and clean energy.
- To create the political will to close the emissions gap left by country climate pledges so as to ensure that the global temperature increase remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels.
- To make a common commitment to increase finance above the US$100 billion agreed in Copenhagen in 2009, including through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), to help vulnerable developing countries prepare for climate impacts and transition towards a low-carbon economy.
Lydia O'Connor | Huffington Post
A dozen Buddhist authorities, in what they're calling an unprecedented effort, appeal to world leaders to take strong climate change action at next month's Paris conference.
In the letter released Thursday and titled "Buddhist Climate Change Statement to World Leaders," the Dalai Lama and 11 other signatories urge the phasing out of fossil fuels and movement toward 100 percent use of renewable energy. This letter, the authors note, is the first time this so many Buddhist leaders have united to take a stance on a global issue.
Protecting the planet, they write, is a pillar of Buddhism:
Our concern is founded on the Buddha's realization of dependent co-arising, which interconnects all things in the universe. Understanding this interconnected causality and the consequences of our actions are critical steps in reducing our environmental impact. Cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion, we will be able to act out of love, not fear, to protect our planet. Buddhist leaders have been speaking about this for decades. However, everyday life can easily lead us to forget that our lives are inextricably interwoven with the natural world through every breath we take, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Through our lack of insight, we are destroying the very life support systems that we and all other living beings depend on for survival.
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