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Pope Francis, other religious leaders at Vatican make joint appeal on climate change

News Agencies | Updated on: 7 October 2021, 7:40 IST

Pope Francis and other religious leaders made a joint appeal for next month's UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to offer concrete solutions to save the planet from "an unprecedented ecological crisis".

Several prominent leaders from various faiths across the world came together in an effort to rally support for measures to preserve the ecology.

The "Faith and Science: Towards COP26" climate meeting brought together Christian leaders, representatives of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism.

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 international community, gathered at COP26, to take speedy, responsible and shared action to safeguard, restore and heal our wounded humanity and the home entrusted to our stewardship," said the appeal, which followed months of online meetings among the 40 or so religious leaders.

"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," Pope Francis said.

According to the statement, religious leaders representing have joined this initiative to build a strong momentum before the summit which is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 12.

The UN Climate Change conference, according to experts, is the last ray of hope as the earth faces an unprecedented ecological crisis, the statement said adding that the religious leaders jointly appealed COP26 to commit ambitious targets in order to cut net carbon emissions which described climate change as a "grave threat", was handed to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Britain's Alok Sharma, president of COP26 in Glasgow.

EcoSikh, an environmental organization joined a gathering of 40 religious leaders in the Vatican. "The crisis of climate change is the shared concern of whole humanity. It would not spare anybody of its drastic impact based on one's economic status, same is true for nations. If one nation sinks, we all sink," Dr Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh said while addressing the event.

"If one nation sinks, we all sink," said Singh, a Sikh leader from the United States, who also recited a hymn written by Guru Nanak for the participants.

"The faith leaders who have come here today represent around 3/4 of the world's population. That is by any measure a significant percentage of people across the globe and that's why their voice matters so much," Sharma said after the meeting, which was organised by the Vatican, Britain and Italy.


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First published: 7 October 2021, 7:40 IST