Starting December 1st, the nations of the world gather in Lima, Peru for the last major session of the global climate negotiations before meeting in Paris next year when a new global climate agreement needs to be finalized. So the outcome of the Lima talks will give a good sense of whether we are on track for a strong outcome in Paris.
Holding the meetings in Peru reminds us of how vulnerable all of Latin America is to climate change. Lima is the second largest desert city in the world after Cairo. Perched on the Pacific Ocean, its 7 million people rely on water from the rapidly melting glaciers in the Andes. Overall, Latin America is among the most at risk region in the world from sea level rise, coral reef and fisheries collapse and severe drought. And although most countries in the region have done very little to contribute to the climate threat, Latin America is home to some of the most inspiring stories of action. Mexico has enacted the world’s most ambitious climate law. Colombia and Peru have committed to end deforestation by 2020. And a group of Latin American countries within the climate negotiations is leading the effort for a very strong Paris deal.
Make of yourself a light.
As a sign of solidarity with the people of the region and a signal to our leaders that we support them in creating a strong global agreement, people of faith and spirit around the world will participate in Light for Lima vigils. Light for Lima will include in-person vigils in communities around the world on Sunday December 7th, as well as “digital vigils” during the week before. In coordination with the interfaith campaign OurVoices, One Earth Sangha is inviting communities to gather, meditate and pray with people of all faiths for meaningful action on climate. You can look for a vigil that is already taking place in your town or city or organize your own.
The locations of the vigils is diverse and powerful. Together we’re showing that people everywhere care deeply. There are vigils in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Washington DC, from Lagos to London,Tokyo to Sydney, Mumbai to New York to Jerusalem and more. On the evening of Dec. 7, people will step onto the streets, light candles and solar lanterns, and pray for our leaders to have the courage to do what is right. Even if there isn’t a vigil near you, you can still take part. It’s not too late to organize a vigil – we can give you what you need. Or, you can join the digital vigil. Share images on Facebook and Twitter – a beautiful way we can all be a #LightForLIMA and help spread the word.
For interfaith, Buddhist or mindfulness gatherings, we offer the following resources of inspiration:
- The First Precept: Reverence for Life
- The Earth as Witness: International Dharma Teachers’ Statement on Climate Change
- Earth Dharma from One Earth Sangha
- His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Messages on Environment
- Buddhist Faith Statements
In acting on this invitation, you will be joining a global call for climate justice. Please feel encouraged to send an email to to let us know what vigil you’ll be attending and/or organizing. We’ll gather and share back with the community.
The Buddha called on his followers to “make of yourself a light.” As one of the most important human gatherings of our time unfolds in Peru next week, we can bring our hearts, our goodwill and our light to help show the way toward a safer future.