With the representatives and delegates of over 190 countries currently gathered in Lima, Peru, to finalize draft texts that would serve as basis for more actionable agreements in Paris, France, December next year – global Catholic bishops and priests have lent their voice to climate change talks and asked that people put an end to the use of fossil fuels to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, and this is the first time the Catholic Church would call for increased efforts at working out a global treaty that cuts down on gas emissions. With a church-force of 1.2 billion Catholics, it is expected that the Church could positively influence public debate to the end that nations all over the world cut down on gas emissions to save our world.

Some Catholic bishops had once demanded for increased and rapid decarbonization, but in their recent press release, they asked for a “deepening of the discourse at the COP20 in Lima, to ensure concrete decisions are taken at COP21 to overcome the climate challenge and to set us on new sustainable pathways”.

The president of the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference, and Archbishop of Ayacucho, Monsignor Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón stated that “We bishops from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe have engaged in intense dialogue on the issue of climate change, because we can see it’s the poorest people who are impacted the most, despite the fact they’ve contributed the least to causing it. They’re the ones who respect the planet, the Earth, the soil, the water and the rainforests. As the church, we see and feel an obligation for us to protect creation and to challenge the misuse of nature. We felt this joint statement had to come now because Lima is a milestone on the way to Paris, and Paris has to deliver a binding agreement.”

To show that they know what they are asking for, the global representation of Catholic faithful asked that countries all over the world should strive to limit world temperatures to under 1.5C, which is even lower to the 2 degrees threshold being advocated for by many negotiators – but the world bishops are quick to defend this mark as necessary “in order to protect frontline communities suffering from the impacts of climate change, such as those in the Pacific Islands and in the coastal regions.”

Although news from Lima indicate that about 10 billion has been raised so far from individual countries’ pledges, the bishops argued for more economic approach to enable the financing of the agreements to the benefits of all concerned. They said: “In viewing objectively the destructive effects of a financial and economic order based on the primacy of the market and profit, which has failed to put the human being and the common good at the heart of the economy, one must recognize the systemic failures of this order and the need for a new financial and economic order.”

Ministers of environments from all over the world are there in Lima amongst other negotiators to work at the deal, and environmental activists plan to stage a demonstration soon to exert pressure on the participants for a favorable global and environmental change.

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