Monday, October 18, 2021

Pope, other religious leaders issue appeal on climate change ahead of COP26

Pope Francis and other religious leaders made a joint appeal on Monday to next month’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) to offer concrete solutions to save the planet from “an unprecedented ecological crisis”.

“Faith and Science: Towards COP26” meeting included Christian leaders including Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism. The representatives of the religion were brought together.

Pope said, “COP26 in Glasgow represents an urgent summons to provide an effective response to the unprecedented ecological crisis and crisis of values ​​we are currently experiencing, and thereby provide concrete hope to future generations.” do,” said the Pope.

“We want to go with it with our commitment and our spiritual closeness,” he said in an address given to participants rather than read at the Vatican’s Frescoed Hall of Benediction, so that others would have more time to speak.

The appeal, which described climate change as a “grave threat”, was referred to Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Britain’s Alok Sharma, the chairman of COP26 in Glasgow.

“The religious leaders who came here today represent about 3/4 of the world’s population. This is by no means a significant percentage of people across the globe and therefore their voices matter a lot,” Sharma said after the meeting. Organized by the Vatican, UK and Italy.

‘War on Creation’

Welby, the world’s Anglican spiritual leader, called for a “global financial architecture that repents of its past sins”, including changes to tax rules to promote green activity.

“We have declared war on creation over the past 100 years… Our war on climate affects the poorest among us,” Welby said.

The appeal urges all governments to adopt plans to limit the rise in average global temperature to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and to help achieve net-zero carbon emissions as quickly as possible.

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It states that rich countries should take the lead in reducing their emissions and funding poor countries’ emissions reductions.

“We urge the international community gathered at COP26 to take prompt, responsible and shared action to protect, restore and heal our wounded humanity and the home entrusted to our leadership,” the appeal said. 40 or so religious leaders.

Many participants insisted that no country can go it alone.

“If one nation sinks, we all drown,” said Rajwant Singh, a Sikh leader from the United States, who sang a poem for the participants.

In his written address, Francis said that cultural and religious differences should not be seen as a weakness in protecting the environment, but as a strength.

“We each have our own religious beliefs and spiritual traditions, but no cultural, political or social boundaries or barriers prevent us from standing together,” he said.

The Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, told Reuters on Sunday he hoped Monday’s meeting could “raise ambitions” on what can be achieved in Glasgow.

The bishops of Scotland said in July that the Pope would attend the inauguration of COP26, health permitting. A decision is expected in the next few days.

Francis, 84, strongly supports the goals of the 2015 UN Paris Agreement to reduce global warming. He told youth over the weekend that he was “probably the last generation” to save the planet.

US President Joe Biden returned the United States to the Paris Agreement after his predecessor Donald Trump withdrew it. Biden and the Pope are expected to meet at the Vatican in late October.

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