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Catholic Organizations Respond to Bishops’ Climate Appeal with Month of Climate Action November 3rd, 2015
The 230 member organizations of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) have launched the “Month of Climate Action” campaign, calling for an unprecedented Catholic mobilization to conclude with the Global Climate March on November 29. By starting this campaign, the GCCM and its 200,000 supporters are actively responding to the just-released Appeal to COP21 Negotiating Parties addressed from the bishops to world leaders who will gather on November 30 for the Paris Climate Summit (COP21).
The GCCM organizations released a statement, “A Call for a Month of Climate Action: the Faithful Respond to the Bishops’ COP21 Appeal”, which declares: “We offer gratitude and support to the bishops of the world—most especially the Bishop of Rome—who have endorsed the just-released Appeal to COP21 Negotiating Parties. It is a witness to the crises we face that so many Successors to the Apostles have joined together to confront the human causes and consequences of climate change.”
“In announcing its Month of Climate Action, GCCM seeks to support the Church and her bishops in three ways: the Catholic Climate Petition, organizing Catholics for the November 29th Global Climate March, and the #Pray4COP21 Prayer Chain,” reads the statement.
The Catholic Climate Petition already has over 200,000 signatures, which are being carried symbolically by Yeb Saño, former climate negotiator for the Philippines, from Rome to Paris through his People’s Pilgrimage. The petition signatures will be delivered to representatives of the French government (who preside the COP21) and of the United Nations on November 28, in an interfaith event in Paris.
The Month of Climate Action will work like a virtual pilgrimage, paralleling the fasts and People’s Pilgrimages that have been occurring around the world with those advocating for climate action and justice. Participants will begin on November 1st, the Solemnity of All Saints, remembering St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Ecology, and all saints who have worked for justice and systemic change. Online resources will help participants advance from one step to the next on the journey in the campaign website: www.CatholicClimateMovement.global/Month-Climate-Action.
The last stop of this virtual pilgrimage will be the Global Climate March on Sunday, November 29th, when over one million people will convene in over 3,000 cities to ask world leaders for action on climate justice. In Paris, upwards of 400,000 people will be marching in solidarity with those who most feel the effects of climate change.
“Our Catholic faith is the basis for our work protecting all peoples and all life”, said Tomás Insua, Global Coordinator of GCCM. “We believe, as Pope Francis has said, that climate change is a moral issue, and we want to stress our interconnectedness with all people, all of creation, all of God’s earthly blessings. We hope that hundreds of thousands of Catholics will join us for this historic Month of Climate Action.”
Citing a papal directive to take decisive action on climate change, the Global Catholic Climate Movement has started a petition which seeks to display “a strong Catholic voice” of concern on climate change ahead of international negotiations set for Paris in December.
“Climate change affects everyone, but especially the poor and most vulnerable people. Impelled by our Catholic faith, we call on you 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,” reads the petition, accessible on the movement’s recently revamped website.
In a message delivered toward the end of the last climate negotiations in Lima, Peru, the pope said that decisive climate action “is a grave ethical and moral responsibility,” and warned that there exists “a clear, definitive and unpostponable ethical imperative to act.”