On eve of U.N. climate summit, Catholics join in calls for change

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November 30, 2015

Pairs of shoes are symbolically placed on the Place de la Republique in Paris Nov. 29, ahead of the U.N. climate change conference, known as the COP21 summit, in Paris. (CNS photo/Eric Gaillard, Reuters) See CLIMATE-MARCHES Nov. 30, 2015.

Pairs of shoes are symbolically placed on the Place de la Republique in Paris Nov. 29, ahead of the U.N. climate change conference, known as the COP21 summit, in Paris. (CNS photo/Eric Gaillard, Reuters)

PARIS (CNS) — Hundreds of thousands of people in at least 150 countries around the world demanded action on climate change on the eve of a U.N. conference that aimed to find agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.

Heads of state traveled to Paris for the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 Conference of Parties, or COP21, in the Paris suburb of Le Bourget. Catholic organizations advocating to protect the world and its people from the impact of climate change said the terror attacks in Paris had not dissuaded them from attending a major U.N. summit there.

Interfaith leaders gathered in Saint-Denis, France, Nov. 28 to hand over a petition with more than 1.8 million signatures — 800,000 collected by Catholic organizations — calling for action on climate change. At the event, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, president of the Pan-Amazonian Church Network, referred to Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” and to an October appeal by Catholic bishops worldwide that called “for a fair, binding and truly transformational climate agreement in Paris.”

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