This week in Lima, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) kicks off what some are calling the most critical discussion on climate action to date. With the 2015 UNFCCC Paris negotiations fast approaching, these talks will act as a caveat for future UN regulations, providing guidance on the 2 degree Celsius cap, proposed earlier this year.
Blessed Tomorrow leaders, Inter-Faith Power & Light Prsenent and founder, Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham and GreenFaith Executive Director Rev. Fletcher Harper, along with faith leaders from around the world, will be holding a nightly vigil to pray and meditate for the Peruvian proceedings scheduled to take place December 1st through the 12th.
They are in good company as Pope Francis has repeatedly shown support for the momentous colloquium, often extending an olive branch far beyond the Vatican walls to garner support from other faith communities.
The UNFCCC has reciprocated the gesture, sending Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres to meet with Pope Francis earlier this month to discuss his highly anticipated encyclical on climate change, due early next year.
Pope Benedict was dubbed the first green pontiff because of his sermons on protecting the environment and installation of solar panels at the Vatican.
His successor Pope Francis appears keen on maintaining this relatively new tradition, telling the UN’s lead climate official Christiana Figueres that the environment will be one of his priorities for 2015.
In a meeting with Figueres at the Vatican, the pope confirmed he will deliver a Papal Encyclical on the environment and climate change next year.
“They discussed the challenge of climate change… which he sees as a social justice and human rights issue,” Figueres’ spokesperson Nick Nuttall said.
An encyclical is a letter written to Catholic bishops. To date just one has been issued since Pope Francis took office, “The Light of Faith” in June 2013.
According to Vatican data from 2013, there are an estimated 1.2 billion Catholics around the world, with Latin America home to 483 million believers.