In anticipation of the December 2009 U.N. Climate Treaty Conference in Copenhagen, several prominent Buddhists have drafted a document in support of environmental action from a “pan-Buddhist” perspective. The Time to Act is Now, as the declaration is called, was initiated by over 20 Buddhist teachers from a diversity of traditions who contributed to a recently published collection entitled A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency. (The Summer 2009 issue of Tricycle, which will hit newsstands next week, includes an essay from the book by Joseph Goldstein on taking the first steps as an environmental advocate.)

Authored by Zen teacher Dr. David Tetsuun Loy and senior Theravadin teacher Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi with scientific input from Dr. John Stanley, the statement pulls no punches:

Eminent biologists and U.N. reports concur that “business-as-usual” will drive half of all species on Earth to extinction within this century. Collectively, we are violating the first precept—“do not harm living beings”—on the largest possible scale.

The first signer was the Dalai Lama. Read the declaration and add your own name here.

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