Pope, world spiritual leaders, subject pre-COP26 attraction on local weather change

  • Appeal requires net-zero carbon emissions as quickly as attainable
  • Global temperature rise ought to be restricted to 1.5 levels C.
  • Pope is predicted to attend begin of Glasgow assembly
  • COP26 should reply to “unprecedented ecological crisis”

VATICAN CITY, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Pope Francis and different spiritual leaders made a joint attraction on Monday for subsequent month’s U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) to supply concrete options to avoid wasting the planet from “an unprecedented ecological crisis”.

The “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” assembly introduced collectively Christian leaders together with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in addition to 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 mentioned.”

“We wish to accompany it with our dedication and our religious 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 risk”, was handed to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Britain’s Alok Sharma, president of COP26 in Glasgow.

“The local weather disaster is nice and is of our making,” Sharma told them.

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


“We have up to now 100 years declared conflict on creation… Our conflict towards the local weather 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 neighborhood, gathered at COP26, to take speedy, accountable and shared motion to safeguard, restore and heal our wounded humanity and the house 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 spiritual beliefs and religious traditions, however no cultural, political or social borders or limitations forestall us from standing collectively,” he said.

The Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, told Reuters on Sunday he hoped Monday’s meeting could “increase 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 “maybe the final era” 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

Climate activist Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg meets Pope Francis during the weekly audience at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, April 17, 2019. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

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