Church of England
Diocese of Salisbury
For immediate use
10 December 2015
Bishop of Salisbury Meets French President on Climate Summit
The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, was among twenty international faith leaders who presented a collection of climate justice petitions with almost two million signatures to the President of France, M. François Hollande, in Paris today.
The result of a joint effort from networks of different faiths worldwide, the petitions were signed by 1,833,973 people calling for a fair, ambitious and binding deal at the UN’s COP 21 climate summit which reaches its conclusion on Friday. They were delivered in person to M. Hollande at a ceremony at the Élysée Palace.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Church of England’s lead Bishop for the environment, said:
“People of all faiths urge all parties to agree on a Paris deal applicable to all. Following the acts of terrorism in this city we want the world to act together, in care of our common home.
“For it to be ambitious, the agreement must include a long-term goal drastically cutting the world’s carbon footprint and making the transition to clean energy
“It must also have a tool to review and increase countries’ contributions, to review and increase ambitions as gaps arise. When they go home, governments must actually start to deliver a low-carbon future.”
“The message is simple – this is about our common home and we need to act together. This is not the end. This is the beginning of the journey and now we have to work hard in order to make this deal effective.”
Christian climate pilgrims had walked from London to Paris and from across Europe and beyond to lobby the summit, including two pilgrims from the Diocese of Salisbury, Harry Reddick from Holy Trinity, Weymouth and Elizabeth Perry from Middle Woodford.
They were represented by Judith Tooth, who attends St Henry Morse Catholic Church in Diss, Norfolk.
Speaking after the ceremony, Mrs Tooth said:
“I think from what the President said, he seemed moved by the efforts that we as pilgrims had gone to. Knowing that what we did has reached his ears and hopefully moved his heart, I feel very pleased.”
Other faith leaders attending included Yeb Saño, the famous Filipino diplomat and climate activist who started a global fasting movement after weak outcomes from previous UN climate summits.
Contact Gerry Lynch
Director of Communications, Diocese of Salisbury
Tel: 01722 438652 or 07799 900 610
Fax: 01722 411990
Diocesan Office, Church House, Crane Street, Salisbury SP1 2QB
Two photographs are attached. Both should be credited to Sean Hawkey/Christian Aid. For more information on them, contact Tomilola Ajayi on email@example.com.
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