The Record » Catholic Church across Australia comes together for People’s Climate March

A Nepalese man hugs a tree while celebrating World Environment Day at the forest of Gokarna, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, in this 2014 photo. Photo: CNS photo/Narendra Shrestha, EPA


With world leaders this month scheduled to meet in Paris for the COP 21 climate summit, Catholic Earthcare Australia is supporting the convention of a People’s Climate March from 27 to 29 November in various cities across Australia.

The event will take place in Perth on Sunday, 29 November from 1pm at Wellington Square, East Perth, with attendees encouraged to wear purple.

Catholic Earthcare Australia spokesperson, Nigel Hayward, said the global media will be watching the Paris climate summit closely.

“So will big investors and fossil fuel companies. We need to show them that millions of people around the world demand strong action on climate change and that we won’t back down,” Mr Hayward said.

“The Church is publicly recognising the need for a fair and binding global agreement on climate change,” he said.

“Cardinals, Patriarchs and Bishops from across the globe have issued an appeal to those negotiating at the COP 21 climate talks, calling on them to work toward the approval of a truly transformational climate agreement.”

Mr Hayward went on to explain that Cardinal Turkson has also spoken out about the importance of COP 21 and the Climate March.

As the lead consultant on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson earlier this month issued a call to action in the heart of the world’s technology and communications industries – Silicon Valley.

The President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace visited Santa Clara University from 3 to 4 November.

The Cardinal headlined a two-day conference on climate change titled Our Future on a Shared Planet: Silicon Valley in Conversation with the Environmental Teachings of Pope Francis.

On the first day, he delivered several messages reflecting a common theme.

The Cardinal began the day with opening remarks to university staff in which he immediately set out to ground the encyclical in the Church’s traditions. He quoted Blessed Paul VI’s idea of “peace as development”, St John Paul II’s “development in terms of the human person” and Pope Benedict XVI’s “ecology of peace” – reminding the audience of the Church’s dual history of calling for an integrated and healthy ecology as well as protection of the poor.

Cardinal Turkson emphasised dialogue throughout the day on 3 November. Early on, he referred to dialogue as “honest and transparent conversation” without the interference of particular interests, and elaborated further on that theme over the course of the conference.

“The encyclical,” he said, “is addressed to all of us, not just university leaders and business people.”…


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