Muslims and other people of faith are invited to join a multifaith service for climate action on Friday 15 May 2020 via Zoom and livestreamed on social media hosted by The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC).

What a start to the decade it’s been, and it’s only April 2020. We have been embroiled in political scandals, climate-related catastrophes like the drought and bushfires, and now COVID-19 has forced us all to rethink every aspect of our lives.

While the pandemic takes its course, I can’t help but remain deeply concerned about the climate. We need to halve global carbon emissions by 2030 to stay well below the 2°C Paris targets, so this decade is crucial to ensure a safe climate, a thriving natural world and a prosperous low carbon economy. This is the next looming crisis, and we must listen to the science and do what is necessary.

Last September’s School Strike for Climate galvanised 7.6 million people worldwide to demand positive action on climate change. Australia’s faith community was part of the 300,000 people who turned up to over 100 rallies across the country.

At the start of the year, an even bigger Strike was planned for Friday 15 May but the physical Strike had to pivot to a digital day of action in observance of safe physical distancing.

On the day, The Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) will be offering an online multi faith service on Zoom and livestreamed on social media. On behalf of ARRCC, I would like to invite readers to be part of this service.

Ramadan is the month of contemplation and we must not forget that the pandemic and climate change are symptoms of a world in imbalance, and it is our duty as caliphs to not only be stewards of the land, but also good stewards of one another.

A lot of us are missing the togetherness of our traditional Ramadan rituals. Coming together with other people of similar hearts and minds can cultivate optimism, empower change and build resilience so we can triumph over these great challenges. Please visit the link below for details, and do extend this invitation to your friends, family and faith networks.

The steps we take as a society when we emerge from the pandemic will have long term consequences. Individual and structural change are both required to bring emissions down at the speed and scale necessary. The neoliberal fossil fuel paradigm needs to be retired.

We must work to implement new ideas and policies on energy, public services, city-building, and all aspects of our lives to ensure we are resilient to the shocks and impacts of climate change and future pandemics. We must also keep making lifestyle changes and influence others in our circles to make climate – positive changes.

The multifaith service is an opportunity for people of all faiths to unite in the spirit of love, reverence and compassion. It will also articulate how we can put these values into practical and meaningful action. The School Strikers are also organising an interactive livestream, do check it out if you’d like to participate.