On January 14 we celebrated the 1st year anniversary of our struggle for climate justice and our own ecological conversion. These are our favorite highlights from the 2015 mobilization:
1. Over 900,000 of us called for climate justice
Our Catholic Climate Petition was signed by 900,000 Catholics, led in the ground by our global network of 300 member organizations (with the Philippines leading the charge). Families, youth groups, parish communities, lay movements and religious congregations mobilized to call for climate justice.
See more petition action pictures.
2. The highest political authorities of COP21 heard our demand
We delivered the 900,000 signatures to the highest political authorities of the historic Paris Climate Summit (COP21), together with an interfaith climate coalition (collectively we delivered 1.8 million signatures). First, we met François Hollande, the French president who hosted COP21:
Read more about the event with François Hollande.
Then we met Christiana Figueres, the U.N. climate chief in charge of the whole climate negotiations process, and we were represented on stage by Cardinal Hummes, who said “Formed only ten months ago, the GCCM has become a steadfast, faithful, and growing voice for climate justice.”
Read more about the meeting with Christiana Figueres.
3. We played a key role in the 1.5°C victory at COP21
The 1.5 degrees Celsius target in the Paris Agreement was a huge diplomatic victory as it dramatically raised the level of ambition, and our movement played a key role in advancing this cause as the Catholic Climate Petition was the only petition explicitly calling for this goal. The Philippine delegation at COP21, which presided the CVF negotiation block of 43 countries and spearheaded the 1.5°C negotiation effort, acknowledged that “The GCCM petition played a very critical role in the campaign to raise the ambition in Paris”.
Read more about our role in the 1.5C victory.
4. Over 40,000 of us joined the historic Global Climate March
The recent Global Climate March of November 29 (the day before COP21) was the largest climate mobilization in history. Our movement helped mobilize over 40,000 Catholics to join the massive crowds of 800,000 people in 2,300 rallies in 175 countries.
Read more about Catholics in the Global Climate March.
5. Pope Francis endorsed GCCM and made a powerful call to action
It started in May, when Pope Francis met GCCM and endorsed our campaign, inviting us to increase our efforts to raise awareness among our Catholic family about the moral implications of the climate crisis.
Read more about the Pope’s endorsement to GCCM.
A month later, on June 18, the Holy Father released the groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si, the first one ever to be devoted entirely to the ecological issue. It issued a powerful message on our moral responsibility to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” that will guide the Church for generations to come.
A month after that, on July 10, Pope Francis delivered a powerful speech in Bolivia with a dramatic call to action to defend our common home:
And finally, on Nov 29, Pope Francis joined the Global Climate March by sending his shoes to join the thousands of shoes displayed in the Paris march (after the French government prohibition given the terrorist attacks). We were humbled to help facilitate the delivery of the Pope’s shoes via Cardinal Hummes.
Read more about the Pope’s climate shoes.
6. Bishops and Cardinals from all continents supported our mobilization
We were blessed to count with the endorsement of many Bishops and Cardinals from all continents, who also issued the remarkable COP21 Bishops’ Appeal which urged to “put an end to the fossil fuel era” and “set a goal for complete decarbonization by 2050”.
7. Our petition signatures traveled from the Vatican to Rome… by foot!
Last but not least, the People’s Pilgrimage, led by Yeb Saño (former climate negotiator of the Philippines), walked over 1500km across Europe from the Vatican to Paris to call for climate justice. Along the way, they symbolically carried our Catholic Climate Petition signatures and a Laudato Si manuscript.
For more details about our campaign, you can also enjoy a pictorial timeline of our first year’s milestones:
The Holy Spirit has truly inspired and guided our movement’s first steps.
Please pray for GCCM to continue bearing good fruit.