Christian Leaders Urge Action to Stem Dangerous Global Warming
(Bloomberg) -- Pope Francis, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Archbishop of Canterbury issued for the first time a joint statement calling for action to address climate change and social inequality.
The three leaders sent the plea ahead of United Nations-led climate talks in Glasgow in November. At the gathering, known as COP26, global leaders will discuss measures to slow the warming of the planet.
“We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions,” the religious leaders said. “Today, we are paying the price—tomorrow could be worse.”
Earth has already warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times and is on track to get about 3°C hotter by the end of this century. That level of temperature rise would lead to more frequent extreme weather events and devastate entire ecosystems that are essential to the survival of millions of people.
Scientists have reached unequivocal consensus that climate change is caused by human activities, mainly by burning fossil fuels. Without deep emission cuts, the crucial threshold of 2°C will be exceeded in the coming decades, according to the latest scientific assessment from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The planet’s poorest people are bearing the most catastrophic consequences of climate change, even though they are the least responsible for global warming, the religious leaders said. They called on people to make individual sacrifices for the sake of the planet, and for global leaders to lead a transition to just and sustainable economies.
“We have greedily consumed more of the Earth’s resources than the planet can endure,” they said. “This is a critical moment—our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.”
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