ICLEI praises Pope Francis’ ‘timely’ call for action on climate change

ICLEI has welcomed the Pope’s encyclical on climate change, titled Laudato Si, as a timely statement that complements global efforts to achieve an ambitious climate agreement in Paris (France) in December of this year. ICLEI’s full statement on the Pope’s announcement is as follows:

“We, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, welcome Laudato Si for its timely, ambitious, and comprehensive message that demonstrates the valuable leadership Pope Francis has in fighting climate change and promoting sustainable development.

Recalling that existing bottom-up contributions by national governments are far below the level of ambition needed to prevent the global climate change crisis, ICLEI notes that the encyclical complements the global efforts to unite all actors of society in an inclusive and ambitious new global climate regime to be finalised at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, where every single contribution on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change should be incentivised, acknowledged and accounted for.

ICLEI commends the encyclical’s strong emphasis on the importance of sustainable urban development and local action in developing and implementing holistic and transformative solutions to the global ecological crisis. The encyclical refers to numerous issues to ensure sustainability at the local level, including the endorsement of the Earth Charter, that are in synergy with the spirit and the vision laid out in the ICLEI Seoul Declaration, adopted at the ICLEI World Congress 2015 held in Seoul (Republic of Korea) on 8-12 April 2015, celebrating ICLEI´s 25th Anniversary.

ICLEI also encourages global leaders of other faith-based organisations to be inspired by this action of Pope Francis.

Noting the unique position of the Holy See as the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome with the right of being a Permanent Observer State to the United Nations and Party State to numerous multilateral agreements, including the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances, ICLEI further invites the Holy See to continue scaling-up these positive contributions on sustainability also at the intergovernmental processes, such as by acceding as an official Party, in particular, to the three Rio Conventions, namely, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and the UN Convention on Combatting Desertification (UNCCD).

Lastly, ICLEI reiterates its willingness to collaborate with all ambitious leaders and actors of the global community, including faith-based organisations, through global initiatives of local and subnational governments that ICLEI has been actively leading, such as the Green Pilgrimage Network, or the Local Government Climate Roadmap, the carbonn Climate Registry, the Compact of Mayors, the Transformative Actions Programme, as well as the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Government in the Post2015 Development Agenda Towards HABITAT III.”

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Source: ICLEI iNews June 2015