April 18, 2016
Catholics and other faith communities delivered the Interfaith Climate Change Statement to the President of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft.
The statement, signed by over 270 high-level religious leaders (including prominent Catholics such as Cardinal Tagle from Caritas Internationalis, and Bishop Sorondo from the Pontifical Academies of Sciences; plus other renowned faith leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu) urges our governments to ratify and implement the Paris Agreement just days ahead of the Signing Ceremony at the UN Headquarters on Friday.
“Humanity is at a crucial turning point. We as faith communities recognize that we must begin a transition away from polluting fossil fuels and towards clean renewable energy sources”, reads our statement. “Climate change presents our global family with the opportunity to embark on a path of spiritual renewal defined by deeper awareness and greater ecological action.”
Tomás Insua, Global Coordinator of GCCM, spoke on behalf of the Catholic community:
At the same time, over 2,500 miles away, an expedition is marching towards the North Pole carrying a Laudato Si’ encyclical and a Global Catholic Climate Movement banner calling on world leaders to “PROTECT OUR CLIMATE & OUR COMMON HOME”. Again, the message is addressed to world leaders meeting at the Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony this Friday at the United Nations.
While these events are thousands of miles apart, they are inextricably connected. The Arctic is one of the most vulnerable places on Earth, with the potential to unlock runaway climate change if it melts. Just last week, scientists revealed that climate change may have caused the location of the North Pole to shift eastwards. The only chance we have at saving the Arctic and our common home is for each country to implement bold climate policies, starting by signing and ratifying the Paris Agreement.