Leaders of multiple faiths sign common declaration ahead of COP26

Press releases

A declaration signed by leaders of all the UK’s major faiths has been released ahead of the COP26 Conference in Glasgow. The document has been signed on behlaf of the Scottish Catholic Bishops, by Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles and President of the Scottish Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Inter-religious dialogue and Sister Isabel Smyth of the Sisters of Notre Dame, secretary to its committee for Inter-religious Dialogue:

Glasgow Multi-Faith Declaration for COP26

Our faith communities are united in caring for human life and the natural world. We share a belief in a hopeful future, as well as an obligation to be responsible in caring for our common home, the Earth.

We recognise the opportunities that COP26 brings in addressing the urgent need for action in limiting the effects of climate change and the critical importance of decisions made in this conference to take forward the agreement made in Paris in 2015.

People have exploited the planet, causing climate change. We recognise that the burden of loss and damage falls most heavily on people living in poverty, especially women and children.

We acknowledge the commitments made through the Lambeth Declaration in 2015. Now, because of the gravity of our situation, the impact of climate change around the world, and the inequality of its effects we seek to strengthen those commitments.

We commit to respond to this challenge by:

  • Reflecting deeply in prayer, meditation and worship to discern how to care for the earth and each other, and to encourage our respective communities to do the same.
  • Making transformational change in our own lives and in the lives of our communities through individual and collective action.
  • Being advocates for justice by calling on governments, businesses and others who exercise power and influence to put into effect the Paris agreement; to make the transition to a just and green economy a priority; and to commit to science-based targets that are aligned with a healthy, resilient, zero-emissions future.

We remind governments of their commitments made in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and of Article 17 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights to protect the environment, the biosphere and biodiversity. We call upon them to take the urgent action needed to avert the loss, damage, and forced migration threatened by climate change.

We look to governments to work together and with others to create a positive vision for 2050 where addressing climate change is not just an opportunity to stop burning fossil fuels, but also: to achieve cleaner air and water; to reduce food wastage; to ensure a just and equitable sharing of the earth’s resources; and to protect the habitats we share with all other life on whose health we also depend.

Across our doctrinal and political differences, we know that we must change our ways to ensure a quality of life which all can share, and we need to provide hope for people of all ages, everywhere, including future generations. To offer hope in the world we need to have confidence that those in power understand the vital role they have to play at the Glasgow COP26.

Glasgow Multifaith Declaration 20/09/2021

Bishop Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld, said:

“Our collective energy and prayers will be with those working for a successful outcome.”

Signed by UK Faith Leaders:

  • Archbishop Angaelos, Archbishop of London, The Coptic Orthodox Church
  • The Rt Revd John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, and lead Bishop for the Environment, Catholic Church in England and Wales
  • Imam Qari Muhammad Asim, Chair, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board
  • Malcolm M Deboo, President, Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe (Inc)
  • Revd Clare Downing and Mr Peter Pay, Moderators of General Assembly, United Reformed Church
  • Rabbi Joseph Dweck,
  • Rev Sonia Hicks, President of the Methodist Church and Barbara Easton, Vice-President of the Methodist Church
  • Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Former Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism
  • Rt Rev Andy John, Bishop of Bangor and Senior Bishop in the Church in Wales
  • Rabbi David Mason, representing Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
  • Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra (Imam), Christian – Muslim Forum
  • Scottish Religious Leaders & Representatives
  • The Rt Hon Lord Jim Wallace of Tankerness, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • Elizabeth Allen, Clerk, General Meeting for Scotland, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Imam Sohail Ashfaque, Blackhall Mosque
  • Lt-Col Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, Salvation Army
  • Revd David Coleman, Minister of the United Reformed Church and Chaplain to Eco- Congregation Scotland
  • Allan Forsyth and Isadora Quay, on behalf of the Baha’i Community of Scotland
  • Rev Bonnie Evans Hills, convener Scottish Episcopal Church Interfaith Relations Committee
  • Madhu Jain, Hindu Mandir Scotland
  • Revd Dr Martin Johnstone, Glasgow Churches Together COP26 Ambassador
  • Ani Lhamo, Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist Centre
  • Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Interreligious dialogue
  • Rev Dr David Miller, Moderator, United Free Church of Scotland
  • Acharya Ji Mishra, Priest of Hindu Mandir Scotland
  • Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Advisor Sikhs in Scotland
  • Sephardi Community, UK Senior Rabbi, S&P
  • Revd. Lynn Green, General Secretary, The Baptist Union of Great Britain
  • Mr. Patrick O’Mara, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United Kingdom
  • Mrs Trupti Patel, President of the Hindu Forum of Britain
  • Juliet Prager, Deputy Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain
  • Imam Sayed Razawi, Chief Imam, Director General of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
  • Rabbi Danny Rich, former Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism in the United Kingdom
  • Dr Natubhai Shah, Senior leader, Jain Community UK
  • The Rt. Hon Lord Indarjit Singh of Wimbledon, Director Network of Sikh Organisations (UK)
  • Jasvir Singh OBE, Chair of City Sikhs
  • Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia OBE KSG, Chairman, Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha
  • Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich and lead Bishop on the Environment, Church of England
  • Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism UK
  • Imam Hassan Rabbani, Imam of Zia-Ul-Quran Mosque, Chair of Scottish Muslim Forum
  • Lama Yeshe Choje Losal Rinpoche
  • Abbot of Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist Centre
  • Rabbi David Rose Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation
  • Rabbi Moshe Rubin, Giffnock and Newlands Hebrew Congregation, Senior Rabbi of Scotland
  • Shaykh Sohaib Saeed, Al-Furqan Mosque
  • The Revd Mark Slaney Chair Methodist Church Scotland
  • Sr. Isabel Smyth Sisters of Notre Dame & Secretary to the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Inter-religious Dialogue
  • Most Rev Mark Strange
  • Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
  • Linsay Taylor, Muslim Council of Scotland and Chair of Interfaith Scotland
  • Dr Srihari Vallabhajousula, Honorary Priest, Hindu Temple of Scotland, Rutherglen, Glasgow
  • Ameed Versace, Climate Officer, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
  • Revd Paul Whittle, Moderator of The United Reformed Church National Synod of Scotland
  • Rev. George Whyte, Principal Clerk to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • The Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, Head Priest of the London Buddhist Vihara