6th July 2018 – The Vatican, Rome. As a co-organiser of the global Rise for Climate mobilisation, 350.org welcomes today’s call by Pope Francis for ‘citizens’ pressure groups’ to take action ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit that is taking place in San Francisco, USA on 12-14 September, to ensure it provides ‘suitable responses’ to the climate crisis.
The global Rise for Climate mobilisation taking place on and around 8 September aims to demonstrate how the tide has turned in the race against climate change, showcase climate action taking place around the world, and inspire deeper commitments from each other and from national governments.
The Pope delivered his support for community mobilisations on the final day of a climate change summit hosted by the Vatican that aims to put his landmark environmental encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ into action by ‘inspiring a “massive movement” for the care of our imperilled common planetary home’.
The Summit, entitled ‘Saving Our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth’, is being attended by faith leaders, youth activists, leading scientists, frontline community representatives and senior political figures. These participants have already delivered resounding demands to keep fossil fuels in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy, now the Pope’s call to action has put the importance of people power firmly in the spotlight.
“Three years ago, Laudato Si’ contributed mightily to the avalanche of righteous action that led to the Paris Agreement. Now, we need its revitalizing, sacred power to help ignite a new uprising for climate, jobs, justice and action,” explains Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith. “On 8 September, faith and spiritual communities around the world will help lead a global series of mobilizations calling on our leaders to act boldly and rapidly.”
Already this year we have experienced deadly heatwaves in Pakistan, Australia and Argentina; catastrophic wildfires in Russia; drought in Kenya and Somalia; major water shortages in Afghanistan and South Africa; extreme storms and flooding in Hawaii, India, Oman and Yemen; record melting of the Bering Sea ice; and the 400th month in the row of above-average global temperatures. It is the people who have contributed the least to climate change who are suffering from these impacts the most.
“In the eye of the storm, the Pacific islands have been hit with the diverse effects of climate change and we turn to our faith for strength,” says Brianna Fruean, Pacific Climate Warrior. “For me, Pope Francis calling to build citizen pressure ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit is a call for people to rise up for our islands, for vulnerable communities, for those on the front lines of climate impacts and for our common home.”
Pope Francis is a strong proponent of tackling major challenges like climate change, injustice, and poverty together through community action. With today’s announcement he has urged communities of faith to mobilise ahead of upcoming key political moments including the G20, the Global Climate Action Summit, and the UN Climate Change Conference.
Yossi Cadan, senior divestment campaigner at 350.org explains, “Pope Francis has singled out the Global Climate Action Summit as an opportunity to get organized and pressure decision-makers at all levels to tackle climate change. By organising a global mobilisation of distributed actions in our towns and cities, universities, places of worship and community spaces around the world ahead of the Summit this September we will show we have the momentum, the solutions, and that we demand bold action now.”