After Pope Francis stressed on the need to tackle climate change, Philippines, Asia’s largest Catholic country, has moved to muster support for battling the problem, promising to gather 10 million signatures for a petition that will be handed over to world leaders at a Paris climate summit in November.
The petition aims to persuade countries to drastically reduce carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise below the dangerous 1.5 degree Celsius threshold and to help the world’s poorest countries to cope with climate change.
Lou Arsenio, the local coordinator for the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), said in Manila that the group was gathering signatures as a “representation of the Catholic’s voice” on climate change, in order to push global leaders to act urgently.
The Philippines plans to deliver half of the 20 million signatures required by GCCM and its partners.
The move came after Pope Francis urged world leaders to act on climate change in his June encyclical. He also warned that a failure to do so would pose an ‘undeniable risk’ to a ‘common home’ that is beginning to resemble a ‘pile of filth’.