In a rare event, Catholic world leaders and priests joined in an unparalleled appeal to urge politicians and negotiators to take action at the upcoming United Nations climate change summit to help curb climate change through approving a 'fair, legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement'.
In the climate change summit, world leaders from around 200 countries will be attending a meeting in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. The meeting will cover discussions on an international agreement to battle global warming and its effects on the environment.
Representatives who included Catholic cardinals, patriarchs and bishops from five continents signed a 10-point climate change appeal at the Vatican City on Oct. 26. It was influenced by Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si", which urges climate change agreements to curb environmental destruction to be fair to the poor and most vulnerable nations.
The appeal was signed by Church leaders from India, Colombia, Angola, Lebanon, Canada, Papua New Guinea, Europe and the United States.
"Damage to climate and environment has enormous repercussions. The problem arising from the dramatic acceleration of climatic change is global in its effects. It challenges us to re- define our notions of growth and progress," the priests said in the appeal.
"It is imperative that we find a solution that is consensual, because of the scale and global nature of the climate's impact, it invites a solidarity that is universal, a solidarity that is 'intergenerational' and 'intragenerational'," they added.
Pope Francis draws the attention to the effect of climate change on the lives of people from developing countries and he added that sustainable developments should include the poor. Subsequently, reliable scientific evidence suggests that fast progression of climate change is the result of uninhibited human activities that damage the environment.
Their 10-point appeal generally revolves around protecting the environment, reducing the effects of climate change through reforms and addresses inequality and brings people out of poverty. Moreover, they reiterated that people should have equal access to clean water and land for them to have sustainable food.
The conference known as COP21 will be attended by climate change negotiators. Church leaders are appealing that the poor and most vulnerable nations should be included in the decision making process. They added that though technical aspects will be included in the conference, they should also make certain that ethical and moral dimensions shall be discussed too.
"The Holy Father has expressed the anxiety of us all," Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India said in a conference. He added that the 10-point appeal is a historic occasion among church leaders around the globe. This means that the predicament posed by climate change needs immediate action not only by the governments, but also of religious sectors and common people of all nations.