Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders gathered to harness the power of faith to heal Earth. 

By: United with Israel Staff

Some 150 Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders attended the Interfaith Climate Change and Renewable Energy Conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday, which served to empower faith communities to curb climate change and promote renewable energy use.

The leaders spoke about religious imperatives for promoting environmentally sustainable practices and renewable energy use.

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of Jerusalem and a senior Catholic religious leader in the Holy Land, stated that “there should be harmony and balance in creation, and we have to restore it. Fossil fuels exploit in a sinful way the earth, and the pollution disrupts the harmony of creation. By contrast, renewable energies are respectful of harmony in creation.”

Workshops and an “ecological walking tour” enabled person-to-person interactions between people of different faiths and nationalities. Presentations by leading scientists described the current impacts and imminent dangers of climate change to the region.

Dr. Alon Tal, Chair of the Department of Public Policy at Tel Aviv University, stated that when “facing the challenge of climate change, faith and creed have a critical role to play in motivating the people of the planet to transform their personal and collective behavior and practices. The climate crisis is not a crisis of technology, but one of values. In the age old struggle between greed and generosity, religion has always had something to say.”

A plenary session included presentations by leaders in renewable energy development on regional initiatives.

Rabbi Yonatan Neril, founder and director of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development said that “the first chapter of Genesis states that God created luminaries- the sun and the moon– to shine light on the earth. An abundance of solar energy reaches the earth and we can harvest that energy to enable clean power for billions of people.”

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