Nov 29, 2022
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Religious leaders from across the three monotheistic faiths signed the “Jerusalem Climate Declaration” last Thursday ahead of the United Nations COP 27 climate conference, which kicks off Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The initiative was spearheaded by the Department of World Religions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development with an aim to encourage and empower religious communities in Israel and around the world to curb human-caused climate change.

“The State of Israel and the government ministries, including our ministry, consider the engagement with the climate issue to be of utmost importance and will work to continue this type of cooperation between civil, social and religious parties for this common and critical goal,” said Tania Berg-Rafaeli, director of the Department of World Religions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Rabbi Yonatan Neril, founder and director of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, said, “the climate crisis is a spiritual crisis and therefore we need the world’s religious leaders to address the problem. 

“We will do everything to unite as many religious leaders as possible in the world to act on the climate issue,” he concluded.

Among those who signed the declaration were Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the Yeshiva Amit Orot Shaul in Tel Aviv; David Freeman, Baha’i Jerusalem representative; Jaber Mansour, Druze imam; Father Bishou Zaki of the Coptic Church and many more. 

A series of events around climate and climate change are planned for religious leaders all over the world in the coming days, uniting faith communities to act together for the sake of the planet.