‘Listen to the cry of the earth’: Top three Christian leaders issue climate appeal ahead of U.N. summit

‘Listen to the cry of the earth’: Top three Christian leaders issue climate appeal ahead of U.N. summit

Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew recently issued a joint statement calling for action to address climate change and social inequity.

In "A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation," the religious leaders have asked Christians to pray that world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November make courageous choices.

The statement appealed to delegates at the upcoming COP26 UN climate summit to "listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor... for the sake of the earth which God has given us."

"Today we are paying the price [of the climate emergency]," the statement said. "Tomorrow could be worse... Our children's future and the future of our common home depend on it."

Pope Francis is expected to attend COP26, scheduled for early November in Scotland, and has asked Christians to pray world leaders make courageous choices.

The Vatican plans to host a major gathering of world religious leaders and scientists ahead of COP26 to take a common stand against the climate crisis and raise the stakes of the Glasgow conference.

Co-signer and former oil executive Archbishop Justin Welby of the Anglican Commission has previously been outspoken about the moral crisis of climate change, but has failed to fully divest his Church of England from carbon-intensive companies, arguing it can force more change on the fossil fuel industry as a shareholder.

"We realised that, in facing this worldwide calamity, no one is safe until everyone is safe, that our actions really do affect one another, and that what we do today affects what happens tomorrow," the Christan leaders said. "These are not new lessons, but we have had to face them anew. May we not waste this moment. We must decide what kind of world we want to leave to future generations."

“The extreme weather and natural disasters of recent months reveal afresh to us with great force and at great human cost that climate change is not only a future challenge, but an immediate and urgent matter of survival," they noted. "As world leaders prepare to meet in November at Glasgow to deliberate on the future of our planet, we pray for them and consider what the choices we must all make."