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World’s bishops sign climate petition

VATICAN (SE): On the morning of October 26 an appeal by bishops across the world was made to the delegates to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 21), which is scheduled to begin on November 30 in Paris.

Bishops representing all continental groupings of national bishops’ conferences signed the appeal.

“Representing the Catholic Church from the five continents, we cardinals, patriarchs and bishops have come together to express, on our own behalf and on behalf of the people for whom we care, the widely-held hope that a just and legally binding climate agreement will emerge from the negotiations of the COP 21 in Paris,” Oswald Cardinal Gracias said at a press conference.

“We advance a 10-point policy proposal, drawing on the concrete experience of people across the continents and linking climate change to social injustice and the social exclusion of the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens,” he continued.

It had been hoped that the bishops would call for temperature rises to be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels, but in the final statement, although it calls for a limit on temperature rise, the figure is omitted.

It makes a strong call to ensure the inclusion of the poorest, most vulnerable and impacted upon at all levels of the decision-making process.


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