In 2015, in Paris, countries agreed on a framework to limit greenhouse gas emissions. It’s often called the “Paris Climate Agreement.” Pope Francis called with Laudato Si the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to join the fight against climate change. In a papal encyclical letter, Pope Francis declared that the science of climate change is clear and that the Catholic Church views climate change as a moral issue that must be addressed in order to protect the Earth and everyone on it.
In 2015, to achieve the vision of Pope Francis and the Church at the Paris summit, Global Catholic Climate Movement collected nearly 1 million signatures and mobilized 40,000 people to march calling for an ambitious Paris Agreement.
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen was the first UNFCCC summit in which the climate movement started showing its mobilization power at a large scale. Between 40,000 and 100,000 people attended a march in Copenhagen on December 12 calling for a global agreement on climate.[And activism went beyond Copenhagen, with more than 5,400 rallies and demonstrations took place around the world simultaneously.
… to church leaders worldwide, let us:
• through international ecumenism and interfaith cooperation,
endeavour to boost the contribution of churches and religions to
climate justice and climate transition.
• create conditions for good dialogue between our different
spiritual traditions, which help create peace with the earth and
peace on earth.
• contribute to new narratives about what life in a climatefriendly
future could involve, not only materially, but also spiritually
• support the climate transition at all levels through dialogue with
decision makers, joint activities and persistent intercessions.
• contribute in words and actions to a fair and just transformation
of society, so that special consideration is shown to those living
in poverty and vulnerability, to future generations and to
creation, in other words, those whose voices are not heard.
• show through our investing activities that we are leaving fossil
investments and are investing in sustainable solutions.
LS 23. The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. As these gases build up in the atmosphere, they hamper the escape of heat produced by sunlight at the earth’s surface. The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system. Another determining factor has been an increase in changed uses of the soil, principally deforestation for agricultural purposes.