Climate change is arguably the most urgent moral and existential issue facing the world right now. The choices that we make, individually and collectively, over the next days, months and years, will mean the difference between life and death for millions of humans and other species. Climate change reminds us that there are no bystanders. Whether we choose to change or not to change, our lives impact the lives of every other creature on the planet.
Initiatives of Change believes that there is enough in the world for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed. Our vision is for a world that lives by trust rather than fear and insecurity, built upon a foundation of moral and spiritual values and a dedication towards life with dignity for all. Building trust across the divides of national interests, political affiliations and access to resources will be essential if we are to cooperate in working towards sustainability.
Change begins with the individual and, as a diverse global network, we work for a healthy and sustainable world. Our commitment to personal change extends to our relationship with the earth and its resources (see box left).
As well as personal change, IofC supports initiatives to mobilise public opinion towards effective and fair global agreements to minimize the harmful impacts of climate change. A number of IofC programmes address issues around climate change.
What can world's religions do about climate change?
As the nations gather in Durban for another round of talks on climate change, Mike Lowe asks what can the world’s religions bring to the table.
Lessons from the jungle.
Deep in the Lacandon rainforest, staying with the last descendants of the ancient Mayans, Fabiola Benavente discovered an unexpected and profound spiritual connection.
Lessons from Cancún.
Fabiola Benavente was part of the delegation representing Initiatives of Change at the recent COP16, UN conference on climate change in Cancún, Mexico. Reflecting on what she learned there, she asks whether this is an opportunity to deepen our moral foundation and expand our awareness of each other and nature.
Initiatives to Protect and Conserve Planet Earth.
Mike Brown outlines some of the initiatives that IofC is taking to tackle climate change. This is a speech given at a conference on "Leading Change for a Sustainable World" at the IofC conference centre in Caux, Switzerland on 5 August 2010.
IPCC errors: facts and spin.
Amid the controversy over flaws discovered in the 2007 IPCC report, the website realclimate.org, written by working climate scientists, has an excellent article which separates the facts from the spin and media distortions.
The Human Face of Climate Change
Jennifer Helgeson attended the first week of the COP15 (Conference of Parties) in Copenhagen with a small international team from Initiatives of Change. She reports:
2010 - Year of the climate change activist
The Copenhagen Accord is not enough to save the world from climate catastrophe. Whether we have reached a turning point in our concern for the planet remains to be seen, writes Mike Lowe.
Team from the Caux Forum in Copenhagen
At the Caux Forum for Human Security in July 2009, one of four urgent priorities affecting human security for millions was ‘dealing with the global Climate Challenge’. As one outcome, a team of environmental scientists, activists and journalists formed ‘Environmental and Economic Workgroup’, who took up as their vision:
Who does the earth belong to? To whom are we accountable?
Imagine, if you will, this scenario. You are driving with your son. Going too fast, you fail to read the warning signals resulting in a crash which leaves your son gravely injured. The doctors do what they can and tell you that unless he has a series of expensive operations he will lead a greatly impaired life. At this point do you (a) refuse to believe the doctors, saying that your son will be fine without any operations; or (b) say to the doctors that you are willing to pay to save your son's eyes, but not his legs because you only want to give up 5% of your income; or (c) sell your house, get a second job and do whatever it takes to ensure your son has the best possible chance of a normal life?
A new deal to tackle global warming.
A global deal on climate change depends on building trust, says Geoffrey Lean, veteran environmental journalist and editor of the UN Environment Programme’s magazine Our Planet. He talks to Michael Smith.
Report on the Interfaith Consultation on Climate Change, 1-2 October 2009, Bangkok, Thailand
The Interfaith Consultation on Climate Change was organized by the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN) in cooperation with the Asian Resource Foundation (ARF) and the Archbishop of Uppsala, Primate Church of Sweden. These reflections are personal and were prepared by Dr Clarence J Dias.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation Interview with Dr R Pachauri
Latest interview with Dr R Pachauri, head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel of Scientists on Climate Change. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 7:30 Report. Reporter: Kerry O'Brien
Making ‘One Planet Living’ Possible.
Sue Riddlestone and Pooran Desai, co-founders of the multi-award winning charity BioRegional Development spoke passionately of the need to reduce unnecessary consumption and live more sustainably when they addressed a Greencoat Forum in the London centre of Initiatives of Change on 16 September.
Critical Role of IofC's Values in Tackling Climate Change.
The risks of climate change pose the most critical and pervasive environmental threats ever to the security of the human community and to life on Earth as we know it. According to the Global Humanitarian Forum climate change is already responsible for 300,000 deaths a year and is affecting 300 million people. Local and national initiatives alone will not solve climate change; its causes and effects are international and demand international action.
Indian Corporation Spells out Green Credentials at Trust and Integrity Conference.
A senior executive of a leading Indian corporation today told how his company is ‘going green’ to meet environmental and climate change challenges. Rajeev Dubey, member of the Group Management Board of the Mahindra & Mahindra automotive and tractor company, also told how the group is committed to the education of disadvantaged children, particularly girls, as part of its social commitment.
'It's All About Green Energy'.
Solutions to climate change can lead to a philosophical shift in the way we develop, explains Rajendra Pachauri, winner of the Nobel peace prize and chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.