Expectant world watches as leaders address climate change at COP21

Sisters Catherine Prendergast and Margaret O’Dwyer, representing the Company of the Daughters of Charity at the United Nations, share the news below from the UN in New York:

[UN-NGO] We, as Daughters of Charity, listen to the cries of the poor.  Pope Francis, in his Encyclical, Laudato Si, recognizes that the Earth is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor. “She groans in travail,” he said.

People from every nation know the “groaning” of our oppressed earth—intense weather events like droughts and floods, melting polar ice, an increasingly acidic ocean, rising sea waters, excess carbon dioxide, other air pollutants, and more.  So, it is critical that world leaders boldly address climate change during their COP 21 Climate Change Summit in Paris-Le Bourget.  The Summit runs November 30-December 11.

COP21 stands for the 21st gathering of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). (There were 196 members as of March, 2014).   Global citizens wait in expectation for the outcome of this meeting, hoping nations will agree to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (global averaged temperature since the Industrial Revolution).   They want a legally binding agreement so that countries can be held accountable.    World leaders at COP21 also will talk about how more developed countries can financially help lesser developed countries in combatting climate change.  It will take a whole world to protect a planet.

People in over 2000 cities around the world wanted to march on Sunday, November 29, to send a message that serious action on climate change is expected from their leaders. The march was canceled following the attacks in Paris, but instead, on Sunday morning thousands of shoes covered the Place de la Republic in Paris.

Pope Francis visited the United Nations Environmental Programme headquarters in Nairobi on November 26.  In beginning his African tour, the Pope said, “there is a clear link between the protection of nature and the building of a just and equitable social order.”

For more information, see www.cop21.gouv.fr/en

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