Catholic Church calls for global action at climate talks in Paris

Despite the tragic events that took place over weekend, France has announced that it will go ahead with the COP 21 Climate Summit later this month.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls told TF1 television that the climate conference “will be held because it’s an essential meeting for humanity”. He said the summit would also be an opportunity for world leaders to show their solidarity with France after the attacks.

From November 30, governments of more than 190 nations will gather at these talks in Paris to try and reach a new binding global agreement on climate change.

The negotiations are critical, as the decisions made by world leaders could very well determine the future of life on this planet. Without a united global agreement to keep temperature rise below 2°C, global emissions will continue to grow. In fact, the recent IPCC report notes that if global emissions continue to grow at the same level, global temperatures will rise between 3.7 to 4.8 °C above preindustrial levels by 2100. This would be catastrophic for the climate, human society and for our planet.

The Catholic Church recognises the urgent need to address climate change in order to protect our common home, planet earth. As Pope Francis writes in Laudato Si’ “Climate change is a global problem with serious implications … it represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” (Paragraph 25).

On October 22, Cardinals, Patriarchs and Bishops from across the globe representing the continental groupings of national episcopal conferences issued an appeal to those negotiating COP 21 in Paris. The appeal calls on world leaders to work toward the approval of a fair, legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement.

Cardinal Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, also spoke out publically last month, saying “A successful COP21 will require the organized efforts of citizens who apply the Pope’s message in the halls of power and demand that leaders act courageously on behalf of the poor and the planet. This is what, on 29 November, millions of men, women and children in the streets of Paris, London, Berlin, São Paulo and 3 000 other cities will be marching for.”

The march Cardinal Turkson is referring to is the People’s Climate March. Will you join his call to action and take part here in Australia?

As world leaders meet in Paris for the climate summit, you are invited to gather across Australia from November 27 – 29 for the People’s Climate March. Walk with us in solidarity and join millions of others (including an estimated 100,000 Catholics) marching around the world.

By marching together we will show that we want an end to fossil fuels and a planned transition to 100% renewable energy. We will march to call on our politicians to support communities for a better, safer and fairer future for all. We will march because we must protect creation for the vulnerable and for future generations. And of course we will march for peace, for our planet and for all of humanity.

To find a march near you visit the Catholic Earthcare Australia website.