FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 28, 2015
CONTACT: Christina Leano +1-786-459-5667
OVER 3/4 MILLION CATHOLICS UNITE BEHIND POPE’S CALL FOR CLIMATE ACTION; TO JOIN CLIMATE MARCH IN RECORD NUMBERS
(Paris) Over 800,000 Catholics around the globe united their voices behind Pope Francis’ call for urgent climate action through the Catholic Climate Petition. Their signatures, collected by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), were presented to Christiana Figueres Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC and French officials today by Brazil’s Cardinal Cláudio Hummes. The petition delivery was part of a larger interfaith event that brought together groups such as OurVoices, ACT Alliance, GreenFaith, CIDSE. Collectively, these faith groups were proud to present signatures of over 1.7 million people of faith from all over the world concerned about climate.
The petition calls on world leaders to “drastically cut carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise below the dangerous threshold of 1.5°C” and “to aid the world’s poorest in coping with climate change impacts.” During the event Cardinal Hummes stated, “I pray for political leaders to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (LS 49) and to respond to the climate justice demand from faith communities.”
Signatories came from over 135 countries with the largest number coming from the Philippines. Lou Arsenio of the Archdiocese of Manila explained, “The people of the Philippines understand the moral impact of the fight against climate change in ways all too personal. We’ve already lost tens of thousands of lives to typhoons which over the years have increased in intensity and frequency. The petition is one way for us take action on Laudato Si and our survival.”
Outside of Paris, Catholics were mobilizing in historic numbers on every continent as part of the Global Climate March taking place over the weekend. Their efforts were boosted earlier this week when Vatican official Cardinal Peter Turkson released a letter encouraging every bishop in the world to support this Global Climate March “in prayer, word and action” and to invite the faithful and all others to “exercise their ‘ecological citizenship’” by joining local marches.
Tomás Insua, Global Coordinator of GCCM stated: “As Pope Francis well reminds us, climate change is a profound moral crisis and a matter of justice towards the poor and future generations. That is why the Catholic community is mobilizing at a massive scale demanding climate justice, by collecting more than 800,000 Catholic Climate Petition signatures for world leaders in Paris and by joining the Global Climate March in all major cities around the world.”
Pope Francis, who is currently on a tour in Africa, will be represented at an symbolic action of ‘marching shoes’ in Paris, after agreeing that a pair of shoes bearing his name and the inscription Laudato Si’, should join thousands of others donated by Parisians after the cancellation of the planned climate march following the terrorist attacks November 13th.
The Catholic Climate Petition was launched in April 2015 and holds the unique status of being the only environmental petition to be endorsed by Pope Francis with other endorsements by Cardinal Turkson, Cardinal Tagle and 33 other individual bishops around the world, including several bishops conferences. Last week GCCM members presented local signatures to governments of the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States with similar deliveries expected in other countries.
See pictures of the event here.
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Pictures and videos from today’s Petition Delivery Event will be available here: www.oikoumene.org/cop21photos and treealerts.org/cop21
Pictures and update of Catholics in the Global Climate March will be available here:
Founded in January 2015, the Global Catholic Climate Movement is a coalition of over 280 Catholic organizations working to respond to the moral imperative of the climate change crisis. Further information can be found at http://catholicclimatemovement.global/
For general information contact: Christina Leano at [email protected] +1-786-459-5667
For region-specific queries about GCCM, please contact any of the following representatives:
Allen Ottaro, Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) – Kenya +254721605830 (cell) | [email protected]
Lou Arsenio, Archdiocese of Manila Ecology Ministry – Philippines
+63 908 869 0211 | [email protected]
Ciara Shannon, Our Voices – Hong Kong
+852 62096775 (cell) | ciarashannon.hk(AT)gmail.com
Brother Benedict Ayodi, Capuchin Franciscans – Curia Generale (Italy)
+393347948970 | jpic(AT)ofmcap.org
Gabriel López Santamaría, Pazybien.es (Spain)
+34 691907261 | gabriel(AT)pazybien.es
Jacqui Rémond, Catholic Earthcare Australia
+61 (02) 8907 9500 (office) +61 0413 715 375 (cell) | [email protected]
Tomás Insua, Global Catholic Climate Movement
+1 857 272 8775 | [email protected]