Washington, D.C. — As global leaders convene today at the opening of the Paris climate talks—officially known as the United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties—a new column from the Center for American Progress calls on global leaders to heed the urgent call of multifaith activists to advance common goals for the preservation and protection of the planet, vulnerable communities, and all nations.
Since the release of Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si”—the first papal encyclical focused on the urgent and politically challenging issue of climate change—in May, there have been significant strides in policy to care for the Earth, both domestically and internationally. Moreover, the publication of “Laudato Si” marked a galvanizing opportunity for faith-based organizing ahead of the Paris talks. Leaders from many faiths—including Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists—have been building support for a global consensus and a commitment to action in Paris and are calling on conference attendees to be bold and decisive.
“The urgency in the multifaith movement for environmental justice is as unprecedented as the opportunity for global leaders to combat climate change,” said Claire Markham, Outreach Manager for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the column. “As the Paris climate talks convene, world leaders must hear the demands of faith leaders and advocates and agree to action on climate change that will protect creation, all nations, and especially the most vulnerable among us.”
The effect of Pope Francis and the chorus of supportive religious voices is real: Recent studies indicate that more Americans now believe that global warming is an imminent threat, regardless of religious affiliation. Global leaders should recognize this growing consensus among people of faith and conscience and seize the opportunity during the Paris talks to take real action and forge the strongest possible agreement.
Read the column: Climate Talks Must Heed the Call of Pope Francis and the Multifaith Movement by Myriam Alexander-Kearns and Claire Markham
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