Laudato Si in Earth Day: North Pole & Paris Agreement Ceremony

April 23, 2016

April 22, 2016 – Happy Earth Day! So many things happened today.

To start with, the Laudato Si North Pole expedition finally reached the North Pole! After 9 challenging days of marching through the Arctic ice, they brought a Laudato Si encyclical to the North Pole to raise awareness about the climate crisis and the moral imperative to take climate action.

After witnessing the dramatic impact of climate change in the Arctic, the North Pole expedition sent a message today to world leaders gathered in the U.N., asking them to take bold action to protect our common home.

Pope quote North Pole

Pope Francis sent a letter to the expedition (see original in Spanish) saying: “Thank you for bringing the Laudato Si cry to the polar ice for future generations … I am convinced that the problem is serious and that initiatives like yours are helping raise awareness about environmental degradation, depletion of the natural resources, pollution and also the severe wealth inequality.

At exactly the same time, the Paris Agreement signature ceremony took place and over 170 nations signed the treaty. We know that this Paris Agreement is very far from what we need and we are aware that words on paper mean nothing, but this was a crucial and historic first step that is required to effectively fight climate change.

Leo at UN

Today’s ceremony sent a strong signal confirming that the fossil fuel era is coming to an end. We celebrate that and increase the pressure to make sure that action accelerates dramatically. There is no time to waste.

The GCCM Global Coordinator, Tomás Insua, attended the ceremony and brought the banner with the same message as the North Pole expedition:

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This builds on top of the groundbreaking Interfaith Climate Change Statement that we delivered last Monday to the President of the U.N. General Assembly, which was signed by prominent Catholic bishops and cardinals together with other renowned faith leaders.

The transition away of fossil fuels is unstoppable. It’s up to us to decide on how fast it happens.

Most governments are moving too slowly, and some are still not moving at all, so we need to increase the pressure for them to take the climate crisis seriously. There is a big gap between what they are doing and what scientists are asking them to do.

We, Catholics, have a big contribution to make by promoting the moral call to action of Pope Francis in Laudato Si. Your donation to the Global Catholic Climate Movement can make a big difference to mobilize the Catholic community to take action worldwide and bring Laudato Si to life.

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Just imagine what 1.2 billion Catholics could do if we put Laudato Si into practice, together.

Thanks for your support and Happy Earth Day!