Pope, world religious leaders, issue pre-COP26 appeal on climate change

  • Appeal requires net-zero carbon emissions as shortly as doable
  • Global temperature rise must be restricted to 1.5 ranges C.
  • Pope is predicted to attend start of Glasgow meeting
  • COP26 ought to reply to “unprecedented ecological crisis”

VATICAN CITY, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Pope Francis and completely different religious leaders made a joint appeal on Monday for subsequent month’s U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) to produce concrete choices to save lots of numerous the planet from “an unprecedented ecological crisis”.

The “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” meeting launched collectively Christian leaders along with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, along with representatives of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism.

“COP26 in Glasgow represents an urgent summons to provide effective responses to the unprecedented ecological crisis and the crisis of values that we are presently experiencing, and in this way to offer concrete hope to future generations,” the pope said.”

“We must accompany it with our dedication and our spiritual closeness,” he said in an address which he gave to participants instead of reading it, in order to give other leaders more time to speak.

The religious leaders’ joint appeal, which described climate change as a “grave menace”, was handed to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Britain’s Alok Sharma, president of COP26 in Glasgow.

“The climate catastrophe is sweet and is of our making,” Sharma told them.

Welby, spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, called for a “world financial construction which repents of its earlier sins”, including changes in tax rules to promote green activity.


“We have beforehand 100 years declared warfare on creation… Our warfare in direction of the climate impacts the poorest amongst us,” Welby said.

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

Wealthier countries must take the lead in reducing their own emissions and in financing poorer nations’ emission reductions, it said.

“We plead with the worldwide group, gathered at COP26, to take speedy, accountable and shared movement to safeguard, restore and heal our wounded humanity and the home entrusted to our stewardship,” said the appeal’s executive summary, which was read out at the start of the meeting.

Several leaders stressed that no nation could go it alone.

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

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

“Each of us has his or her religious beliefs and religious traditions, nonetheless no cultural, political or social borders or obstacles cease us from standing collectively,” he said.

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

Scotland’s bishops said in July that the pope would attend the opening of COP26, health permitting. A decision is expected in the next few days. read more

Francis, 84, strongly supports the goals of the 2015 U.N. Paris accord to reduce global warming. He told young people at the weekend that theirs was “perhaps the ultimate period” to save the planet.

U.S. President Joe Biden returned the United States to the Paris accords after his predecessor Donald Trump pulled it out. Biden and the pope are expected to meet at the Vatican at the end of October.

Reporting by Philip Pullella
Editing by Gareth Jones

Pope Francis meets Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at the Vatican October 6, 2016.  Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Paul VI Audience Hall for the weekly general audience at the Vatican, September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks during the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet at Guildhall in London, Britain, November 12, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

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