Christian leaders unite to warn of ‘catastrophic consequences’ of climate change

Christian leaders climate change

The world’s Christian leaders have united to warn of the ‘catastrophic consequences’ of climate change, saying now is a ‘critical moment’ for the planet’s future.

Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church, made the joint statement ahead of the Cop26 climate summit.

In their first-ever joint statement, the three clerics urged people to play their part in ‘choosing life’ for the planet. They called on leaders to make decisions that will allow a transition to ‘just and sustainable economies’.

The statement said: ‘We call on everyone, whatever their belief or worldview, to endeavour to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behaviour and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us.

“Today, we are paying the price, tomorrow could be worse. This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.”

‘This is the first time that the three of us feel compelled to address together the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on persistent poverty, and the importance of global cooperation,’ it added.

The three Christian leaders used their platform to speak out against inequality, saying: “We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure.

“But we also face a profound injustice: the people bearing the most catastrophic consequences of these abuses are the poorest on the planet and have been the least responsible for causing them.”

COP26, which the pope hopes to attend, is taking place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

The talks aim to spur more ambitious commitments by countries to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. COP26 also seeks to keep the global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius during this century, in line with a 2015 Paris accord.


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