Vatican hopes its pre-COP26 climate event will raise the stakes in Glasgow

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By Philippe Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Vatican hopes a meeting where world religious leaders take a common position on the environment can ‘raise ambitions’ on what can be achieved at the United Nations Conference on Change climate change next month, its foreign minister said.

Monday’s one-day event, hosted by the Vatican, the UK and Italy, brings together around 40 religious leaders from the world’s major religions and scientists, from around 20 countries.

The leaders, including Pope Francis, will sign a joint appeal and hand it over to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Britain’s Alok Sharma, chairman of the United Nations meeting known as COP26 in Glasgow.

“We hope that (Monday’s meeting) will have an impact on opinion in general, but within our faith groups and faith families and also within the political community to spark ambitions regarding what can be achieved by COP26, ”Archbishop Paul said. Gallagher.

Speaking in a phone interview with Reuters on Sunday, Gallagher said the Vatican hoped the direct appeal to COP26 leaders would have the same effect as the Pope’s iconic 2015 environmental encyclical “Laudato Si” (Be rented).

He drew massive attention to the climate crisis and spurred activism in faith groups.

“Most of the religions represented, whether through their sacred scriptures or traditions or the spirituality they represent, have the basis of a renewal of our relationship with the environment and with the planet,” said Gallagher.

The meeting is called “Faith and Science: Towards

COP26 ″. It brings together Christian leaders, including the Pope, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as representatives of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, of Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism.

Pope, Welby and Bartholomew have launched a joint appeal https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/worlds-top-three-christian-leaders-climate-appeal-ahead-un-summit-2021-09-07 to members of their churches last month to “hear the cry of the earth”.

POPE SHOULD ATTEND THE OPENING OF COP26

The bishops of Scotland said in July that the Pope would attend the opening of COP26, health permitting. A decision is expected in the coming days.

François strongly supports https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/you-are-making-future-today-pope-tells-youth-climate-activists-2021-09-29 the objectives of the Paris Agreement 2015 to reduce global warming. Over the weekend, he told the young people that theirs was “maybe the last generation” to save the planet.

Gallagher, who is British, said it was “a sign of great hope” that US President Joe Biden is returning the US to the Paris Accords after the withdrawal of his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden and the Pope are expected to meet at the Vatican in late October.

“Translating commitment into action is the big problem and we all know our political leaders are very good at promising and very good at speaking, but the action we need now is urgent and huge,” he said. declared.

He said the Vatican hoped Monday’s conference would highlight the need for an “ecological conversion in how we relate to the planet,” and the realization that lifestyle changes would be necessary but not easy. .

“Most aspects of life have a political dimension and if you say faith should be a part of every part of your life as well, then obviously your faith will affect your politics,” said Gallagher.

He said the organizers had not considered inviting the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, who is not recognized by China.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama knows how much he is respected here by the Holy See but he also appreciates that our relations (with China) are complicated and difficult and he has always respected this and we appreciate him very much and so the ongoing dialogue with Buddhism on many, many levels, ”he said.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry)


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