· Vatican City ·

Global faith leaders sign joint statement calling for urgent action to address the climate crisis

 Global faith leaders sign joint statement  calling for urgent action to address the climate crisis  ...
07 December 2023

Pope Francis’ name is among the signatures on the Interfaith Statement for cop28 drafted at the Global Faith Leaders Summit. The Holy Father signed the document at Casa Santa Marta. “In the spirit of unity, shared responsibility, and Human Fraternity” it calls for “transformative action” to address the global climate crisis. There are two key concerns: keeping the 1.5 degrees within reach and supporting the communities most heavily affected by climate change.

First, however, comes awareness. According to their statement, the representatives of diverse faith and Indigenous traditions recognize “the sorrow that many experience”, and they highlight “the connections between climate change, migration, and conflict and the potential role for people of faith as ‘environmental peacebuilders’”. They also call for “urgent responses” that include “fast-tracking Energy Transitions” and “ensuring fairness and equity and what’s morally right”. Furthermore, they ask governments to transition from a linear growth paradigm to a circular model that allows for “a balanced and dignified life in harmony with nature”.

Reiterating their appeal to governments and companies to “transition away from fossil fuels, embracing clean energy sources that nurture the Earth and safeguard its inhabitants unconditionally”, the leaders stress that “no one must be left behind”, especially people in the most “vulnerable communities”. To this end, “new financial mechanisms that address loss and damage” in an “interdisciplinary, effective and inclusive” way are essential.

The faith leaders express their own commitment to change their “consumption patterns, ensuring that [they] are mindful that [their] purchases and services reflect [their] ethical commitment to accelerate the energy transition and achieve net zero by 2050, as called for in the Paris Agreement”. They commit to raising their “voices for Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation” and to “uphold[ing] the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”. Looking to future generations, the document asks participants at cop28 to “act with urgency”, to act “collaboratively, and resolutely to heal our wounded world and preserve the splendor of our common home”.