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Moral and Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change: Appeal to World Leaders

September 2009

We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, leaders of the world’s religions, and other members of civil society, urge the governments of the world to participate in the UN High Level Event on Climate Change through representatives at the highest level and unequivocally call on them to:


  • Consider deeply the ethical and moral questions at the root of the climate change crisis—questions of justice and equity that will determine the survival of cultures, ecosystems, and present as well as future generations;
  • Recognize that the quest for climate justice is not a competition for limited resources but part of an unfolding process towards greater degrees of unity among nations as they endeavor to build a sustainable, just and peaceful civilization;
  • Distinguish their contributions to this High-Level Event by demonstrating trust, justice, solidarity, and a vision of prosperity for the most vulnerable populations;
  • Demonstrate courage and moral leadership as they articulate the vision and secure the foundations for a comprehensive and legally binding agreement during the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCC and the 5th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in December 2009; and
  • Ensure that commitments in all arenas of the climate change challenge are guided by ethical and moral considerations so as to inspire the trust and confidence of individuals, communities and institutions to effect the changes needed to build a sustainable civilization.
  • We call on the gathered leaders to summon the same spirit and sense of urgency that led to the creation of the United Nations, to forge a climate change agreement worthy of the trust of humankind.


Bahá’í International Community,

Citizens for Science Accountability & Safety,

Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul,

Congregation of Notre Dame,

Franciscans International,

GRATIS Foundation,

Initiatives of Change International,

International Peace Research Association,

International Presentation Association of the Sisters of the Presentation,

International Public Policy Institute,

International Women’s Anthropology Conference,

Loretto Community,


Passionists International,

School Sisters of Notre Dame,

Sisters of Charity Federation,

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur,

Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries,

Solar Cookers International,


The Congregations of St. Joseph,

UNANIMA International,