‘Apartheid seemed an overwhelming challenge that could not be defeated but we mobilised and defeated it. We need the same passion and determination to defeat climate change.’
– Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, rally host
Please join noted environmentalist Bishop Geoff Davies us at a mass rally led by African faith leaders, prominent speakers and world class musicians, from 2pm on November 27 at the King’s Park Stadium in Durban, South Africa.
Last year, South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup. This year South Africa will convene COP17, the ‘Climate World Cup.’ These negotiations have such extreme consequences for the future of life that we should be even more passionately concerned than we were about the soccer.
Climate change is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced and African communities, who will be the most devastated, are already experiencing increasingly unpredictable weather patterns with severe droughts and extreme storms and floods.
Yet world governments have failed to reach agreement on curbing climate change.
time for talking is over
We, the multi-faith community of South Africa, say that the time for talking is over. We are going to fill the King’s Park Stadium for the rally and will call on world leaders to reach a fair, ambitious and legally binding decision to curb greenhouse-gas emissions to ensure a viable future for coming generations.
The rally will be hosted by Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and religious leaders of Africa and the world. They will hand over a petition calling on heads of state to put a reverence for life ahead of national and economic self-interest.
A number of prominent and world-renowned musicians have also been invited to play at the rally and the event will be televised.
Faith-based organisations from Africa are travelling to Durban to come to the rally, as well as climate-change activists and concerned citizens from across the world who have promised to attend.
We warmly invite everyone to join us and ask you please to encourage all your friends to attend the rally if they are in the Durban regions, and to encourage all to sign the petition.
What you can do:
- 27 November, Durban: Mass Rally of the Faiths: Pre-COP meeting of leaders and members of faith and conscience, Kings Park Stadium, Durban
- 3 December: We join civil society for the Global Day of Action
- 4 December: Multi-faith prayer meetings in Durban and across the continent for a just, visionary and equitable COP outcome.
- Download an invitation for your faith community.
- Download a printable page about the campaign.
- Promote the campaign: printable leaflets here.
- Download our leaflet for children: Children’s flyer.
- Please join Archbishop Desmond Tutu, SA Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and sign our We Have Faith petition.
- MEDIA: Media advisory, 2 Oct 2011
The world is at profound risk and Africa, where people are least responsible for climate change, is one of the regions most threatened by it. Yet astoundingly, our leaders all too often base their climate decisions on short-term cost calculations, market interests and political expedience. We urgently need to restore what should be the moral and ethical basis of these discussions: a profound regard for the value of life, the dignity and equality of human beings and the rights of future generations.
moral foundation essential
So, in November before the COP, we will host a RALLY of leaders and people of faith and conscience (27 November), in the Kings Park Stadium, to proclaim the moral foundation that we, people of faith, believe should direct the climate talks. These moral principles are to be drawn up at the Pan-African Nairobi conference.
On Sunday 4 December, in the middle of the conference, we will hold a multi-faith prayer gathering in Durban. We will also be distributing prayers and sermon material asking all faith communities to pray for the success of the conference.
We have the support of Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson of the Elders, and are awaiting confirmation from other leading figures of faith and conscience on their possible participation.
Our partners in this programme include the All Africa Conference of Churches, the South African Council of Churches, the Economic Justice Network, the Diakonia Council of Churches, Norwegian Church Aid, the Church of Sweden, ICCO and others. Join us and expand the network.
Ahead of these events, we are working with partners on a series of conferences to inspire faith leaders to take the initiative in responding to climate change in Africa.
To sign the petition and for more information about our campaign, log on to www.wehavefaithactnow.org, join our Facebook page, email faithsecretariatCOP17@diakonia.org.za or phone the office at (031) 310 3512.
African faith leaders met at UNEP in June to discuss Africa.