Divine intervention: How religious leaders are using their influence to urge climate action

As the Dalai Lama joins the Pope in calling for greater climate action, Daisy Dunne looks at the role that faith leaders are playing in tackling the crisis

Monday 16 November 2020 11:17
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Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is introduced to guests during the Conversations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Ryogoku Kokugikan on November 25, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. The Dalai Lama spoke with guests on 'Making the best use of the wisdom of Buddhism in daily life.' The Dalai Lama on a 12-day visit to Japan.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is introduced to guests during the Conversations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Ryogoku Kokugikan on November 25, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. The Dalai Lama spoke with guests on 'Making the best use of the wisdom of Buddhism in daily life.' The Dalai Lama on a 12-day visit to Japan.

“Buddha would have been green.” Those were the powerful words from the Dalai Lama this week, as he made a “climate appeal” to the world through the release of a new book. “Simply meditating or praying for change is not enough,” he said. “There has to be action.”

His words came as the US president-elect Joe Biden received a call from the Pope on Thursday. According to an official statement, Mr Biden, a devout Catholic, told Pope Francis that he would work with him in “addressing the crisis of climate change”.

Pope Francis has previously been outspoken about the climate crisis. In 2015, he wrote an environment-themed Encyclical Letter, a letter aimed at guiding all faith holders, in which he described the climate crisis as “a global problem with grave implications” and asked his followers to consider what kind of planet they wanted to leave to their children.

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