Connect4Climate and Earth Day Network to join Pope Francis in global call to address climate change
Timothy J McHugh
November 3rd, 2015
(Washington, DC) –This upcoming Sunday, November 8th, Connect4Climate, Earth Day Network, and Earth Day Italia will join with the Vatican for a march in the Eternal City beginning at the Colosseum and culminating in Saint Peter’s Square. The march will draw attention to the upcoming climate talks in Paris (COP21) and the need to tackle climate change head on as part of a global alliance and community.
“I am honored to go to Rome and march along with concerned citizens and fellow climate activists from every corner of the world to demand action from our leaders on the defining global issue of our time: climate change,” explained Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. “Pope Francis’s late September address to Congress served as the beginning of a still on-going momentum building process leading up to the United Nations’ Paris climate talks. And now they are nearly at hand. The Pope is the perfect public face of this campaign, and we are here to supply the grassroots. We simply cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer.”
Beginning on November 30th and scheduled to conclude on December 11th, the United Nations is sponsoring talks in Paris designed to put in place an agreement on climate change that will improve upon and replace the Kyoto Protocols. Participating nations have submitted their plans in advance of the talks, ranging from good to bad and everything in-between. A final agreement is expected to be unveiled at the close of the conference on the 11th.
“Pope Francis’ Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’’ elevates the need for a climate change agreement to a moral imperative” says Lucia Grenna – Connect4Climate Program Manager. “The blessing that the Holy Father will deliver next Sunday to policymakers participating in the United Nations climate conference is particularly important as climate change must address social justice, and any agreement should ensure inclusion of the poorest and most vulnerable.”
On Sunday, November 8th, people from all over the world, together with civil society and faith organizations, will gather at 9:00 AM in front of the Colosseum, the iconic symbol of the Eternal City. The march will start at 10:00 AM, and will progress through Via dei Fori Imperiali before getting into Piazza SS. Apostoli and then arriving in St. Peter’s Square, where Pope Francis will greet the audience and the march participants during the Angelus. The Holy Father’s message will also be streamed live on a maxi-screen at the “Laudato Si’ Village” in Piazza SS. Apostoli – the program will continue with entertainment, educational activities and food booths and will close with a folk music concert from 5 pm.
“Numerous national and international organizations are joining our initiative, and we will make our voice be heard marching all together in defense of the Weakest and the Climate” – states Pierluigi Sassi, President of Earth Day Italia. “The march is organized in support of the message that Pope Francis has given to the world leading up to the Climate Conference in Paris.” Then he adds, making a direct reference to the encyclical, that “the difference between the general interest and the common good lays in the attention to the last, the marginalized, those who don’t have any part in anyone’s interest and therefore end up being none’s interest”.
Launched by the World Bank and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Connect4Climate (C4C) is a global community that takes on climate change by promoting solutions and empowering people to act. The C4C community connects more than 280 partners around the world – including civil society groups, media networks, international organizations, academic institutions, youth groups, and the private sector, and interacts with a global audience of more than a million individuals who participate on C4C’s social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, and Instagram More information at: www.connect4climate.org
About Earth Day Network
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN), the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, works with tens of thousands of partners in 192 countries to build environmental democracy and to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. For more information, visit www.earthday.org