Sustainability and Climate Action

 

A fundamental concept in Buddhism is the idea of ‘interrelatedness’, ‘dependent origination’ or ‘interdependent co-arising’, the understanding that everything and everyone is interconnected, and that our perception of separateness is an illusion. The image of Indra’s Net depicts this interconnectedness beautifully, suggesting a web with a sparkling jewel at each intersection. When one strand of the net is pulled the whole net is activated and the jewels refract and reflect each other suggesting that the actions of everyone/thing affect the whole. 

Acknowledging our interdependence with others promotes the virtues of compassion, giving, and generosity and the suggestion that when individuals can transform the ‘poisons’ of greed, anger and illusion into compassion, courage and wisdom our lives become contributive rather than reactive. 

CfAB is working in partnership with the Eco Dharma Network as part of the Network of Buddhist Organisations, with Faith for the Climate and Religions for Peace UK towards COP26 to be held in Glasgow in November 2021 and beyond, towards the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are based on the ‘Five Ps’ of peace, prosperity, people, planet and partnership. The Eco Dharma Network holds regular webinars. If you are interested, please visit their website here.

GreenFaith suggests that ‘.. the heart of sustainability is a shift in values that reveals a new worldview and a new understanding of progress. In the sustainability vision, the natural environment is protected and nurtured as the foundation of all economic activity, while human well-being and equality are central to economic design.’

 

Sustainabiliy Pledge

We are facing a climate emergency and we all have a powerful responsibility to take personal and collective action to keep the world below 1.5 degrees of warming. There is an urgent imperative for us to transform ourselves and our society, and to work together to bring about a just and sustainable society where wellbeing is not sacrificed for profit. 2021 is a crucial year for climate action, and we want to take this opportunity to advocate for behavioural change as individuals, communities and within wider civil society. We aim to live more simply, more sustainably, and in solidarity with those disadvantaged and most impacted by climate change in the UK and the Global South.

As the Centre for Applied Buddhism we pledge to

  • Promote responsibility for the environment within our organisations
  • reduce the carbon footprint of our centres 
  • conserve energy and use renewable energy
  • minimize waste by reduction, re-use and recycling
  • provide education, training and advice, and a encouragement for our staff and communities to develop new ideas and initiatives
  • plant trees, re-wild and reforest land
  • not use pesticides, which are harmful to wildlife
  • promote and encourage involvement in local environmental initiatives
  • divest from fossil fuels and invest in green and nature-based solutions

 

We also advocate personal life-style changes by looking at our consumption and behaviours

  • reuse, recycle, compost and cut down on single-use plastic
  • shop local, sustainable and vintage
  • eat less meat, poultry and fish
  • bike, walk, take public transport and reduce air travel
  • consume less energy and use renewable energy wherever possible
  • save water 
  • reconnect with life and the earth – re-wild, plant, conserve
  • divest and change bank accounts

CfAB is collaborating in the following areas with other faith communities:
• Creating narratives from Buddhist perspectives
• Training in and providing training for religious leaders to be advocates
• Building a collaborative roadmap

This is part of a values-based exploration of Global citizenship
Mapting App developed by young people of SGI
Buddhist Toolkit for Climate Action
BAM Handbook
The Time is Now