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An ‘Earth Day’  Week-Long  Campaign



The Interfaith Dialogue on Climate Change (IFD) convenors appeal to all leaders of various faiths to go on a “low carbon consumption” by following a simple routine in a span of ten days for a meaningful celebration of Earth Day this year.

The Interfaith Dialogue, initially convened by Climate Change Commissioner (CCC) Heherson T. Alvarez, and co-convened by the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines’ (CCCP) Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) National Director Bishop Noel Pantoja, and the Philippine for Islam and Democracy under Ms. Amina Rasul-Bernardo, aims to inculcate various climate change adaptation and mitigation practices in the context of religious teachings.

The IFD convenors said that an example of a low carbon consumption habit is the use of public transportation instead of private vehicles when their destinations are nearby, or to limit gasoline usage to five litres of diesel a day for their private vehicle, to save gas, money and minimize carbon footprint. 

They believe that going on a “low carbon consumption” or abstinence in wasteful consumption this Earth Day will help the world reduce carbon emissions and save millions of pesos.

As a way of celebrating Earth Day, initiated by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in 1970, the inter-faith leaders also encourage various interfaith community members to use their air conditioners for only five hours a day.  Not only will this lessen carbon emission but will aggressively reduce their electricity bill, they said.

They also urged the households to replace one incandescent fluorescent bulb with one LED bulb every month for at least ten months.

 “Every religion respects and values the earth and its wonders, most especially human life.  Climate change, as a man-made disaster, will need our collective efforts to address -  like the disciplined use of energy and vehicle fuels, reduction of wasteful water usage and food consumption, and the promotion of alternative clean energy,” says Alvarez, who  was also responsible for the first Earth Day celebration in the country in 1990 through a Senate Resolution.

Pope Francis who is leading the Vatican in hosting a Climate Change Summit, to be held a week from Earth Day, said that, “Acting on climate change is essential to faith.   A Christian who does not protect creation … is a Christian who does not care about the work of God.”

The Interfaith Dialogue on Climate Change, under the auspices of the Climate Change Commission, chaired by President Benigno Aquino III, had already conducted six regional conferences and three national conferences since 2010. The next conference will be in Baguio City on May 26, 2015.  The dialogue in Baguio will focus on watershed and river basin management.