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EuropeIn lead-up to Glasgow meeting, churches amplify calls for climate justice

In lead-up to Glasgow meeting, churches amplify calls for climate justice

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(Photo: REUTERS / Adrees Latif)Some of hundreds of thousands take part in the People’s Climate March through Midtown, New York September 21, 2014. An international day of action on climate change brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets of New York City on Sunday, easily exceeding organizers’ hopes for the largest protest on the issue in history. Organizers estimated that some 310,000 people, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and elected officials from the United States and abroad joined the People’s Climate March, ahead of Tuesday’s United Nations hosted summit in the city to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment.

The UN climate change conference, COP26, from Nov. 1-12 in Scotland is around the corner and churches are strengthening their collective calls for climate action and justice.

In Milan, government leaders have gathered for pre-COP events and Young Christians from Italy published a call to government leaders.

“As young members of the Christian family in Italy, it is our hope that COP26 will be a crucial element in addressing the climate crisis,” they said, according to the World Council of Churches.

“Together, we ask world leaders to take this opportunity of this session to define with determination and ambition measurable goals of climate justice for all.”

The young Christians note that the climate crisis is as much a spiritual crisis as it is an existential one.

“We have failed to discern an intrinsic interconnection with our ecology,” reads the call. “We have allowed a culture of greed to permeate the core values that are integral to our commitment to responsibly use the Earth’s resources without alternating its vital balances, reflecting God’s care for his creation.”

The crisis generated by the pandemic reinforces the urgency to act to stop the degradation of the ecosystem, the call further notes.

In another call from churches in Italy, religious leaders note that Milan is marked by an unsustainable development model.

“It is no longer time to chase the skeptics,” reads the call. “The plans of national governments remain inadequate: the world is still heading towards a catastrophic rise in temperature above 3 ° C this century, well beyond the objectives of the Paris Agreement.”

Churches in Europe are increasingly struggling to respond to the multifaceted impacts of ecological destruction and climate change, notes the call. “No delay is acceptable,” concludes the call.

Groups involved in the calls include Climate Justice for All, Commission on globalization and environment of the Federation of Protestant churches in Italy, Council of Christian Churches in Milan, Methodist Church in Italy, and National Office of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

Along with the calls, events will be planned in conjunction with the pre-COP meetings in Milan.


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