Hisnudita Hagiworo – Volunteers from the Dompet Dhuafa Foundation together with GreenFaith, the "Aisyiyah" Environment and Disaster Relief Foundation (LLHPB) and EcoBhinneka Muhammadiyah, held a peaceful inter-faith community action titled "Promoting Concern Among All Parties on the Issue of Climate Change and the Global Energy Crisis" near the Grand Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Friday October 28.
During the action promoted under the hashtag #Faiths4ClimateJustice, the four organisations launched an ikhtiar (religious effort) to reduce the use of fossil fuels. The movement is part of a global movement for climate justice.
Meanwhile the date of the peaceful action was chosen to coincide with Youth Pledge Day, commemorating the October 28, 1928 Youth Pledge (Sumpah Pemuda).
Their hope was that the Youth Pledge's spirit of unity can become the essence of cooperation between religious communities to invite, motivate and educate the public about the advantages of alternative energy to reduce the risk of climate change.
Dompet Dhuafa Advocacy and Strategic Alliance General Manager Arif RH said that a change in energy use is urgent. Aside from the government, the role of other elements of society is also important. One of these is religious communities.
According to Arif, social figures, Islamic leaders and religious activists can play a very influential role in promoting the transformation to clean energy which is just and utilises alternative energy sources.
In addition to this, being able to reduce the risk of climate change and addressing the energy crisis will have a huge influence, including on changing living patterns in society.
"The aim of this effort is to push for government policies that optimise the use of clean energy", said Arif in a press release received by Kompas.com on Saturday October 29.
Arif also gave the example of simple things that can be done by the public to save energy, starting from walking or riding a bicycle to religious activities, cutting down on the use of lights in the vicinity of houses of worship, to constructing religious facilities that pay attention to environmental issues.
Similar actions have also taken place in 277 other locations in Indonesia. Actions held by volunteers and participants have included mass marches to places of worship, tree planting, mural drawing, beach cleaning and discussions about alternative energy.
In addition to this, there were also actions by the younger generation demanding a sustainable future.
The head of the "Aisyiyah" LLHPB Division Central Leadership and EcoBhinneka Director Hening Parlan said that the action by the religious communities represented an expression of the community ritual of safeguarding the earth from destruction.
According to Parlan, safeguarding the earth should not just be the concern of one religion but rather the concern of all religions.
"Right now, we are all trying hard or berhijrah [to move or shift to] to safeguard a healthy environment. One of the expressions of this is using religious values in these actions by religious communities", said Parlan.
Three calls were conveyed during the actions. First, the hope that the government will promote policies utilising renewable energy and accelerate the transformation process in a just manner, along with creating job opportunities which are environmentally friendly (green jobs).
Second, pushing economic or financial institutions to stop funding activities linked with energy based on fossil fuels. Third, pushing all religious community leaders to play a key role in building a movement concerned with the environment founded on their respective faiths.
Parlan added that many of the natural disasters that are occurring in the world, including in Indonesia, are a concrete form of the impact of the climate crisis and are already claiming many victims.
Therefore, before holding the World Conference on Climate Change (COP27) in Egypt and the G20 Summit in Bali in November, the four organisations along with other religious communities around the world are echoing the actions by communities for climate justice.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Gelar Aksi #Faiths4ClimateJustice, Dompet Dhuafa Dukung Transformasi Energi yang Adil".]