New York — A signing ceremony at the United Nations will mark this year's Earth Day, and religious leaders, including a number of prominent Catholic women religious, are urging leaders of nations not to renege on their promise to sign the landmark Paris Agreement.
On Friday, world leaders will gather at the U.N. to sign the agreement, an international climate change document negotiated in late 2015 and agreed to by 195 countries.
More than 150 countries, including the United States, say they will formally sign the document Friday, which the U.N. says will be a record for an opening day signing of an international agreement.
In a statement released ahead of the ceremony, more than 100 faith leaders, including women religious, lauded the agreement, saying that the care for the earth "is our shared responsibility."
Citing Pope Francis' environmental encyclical, Laudato Si', and statements by representatives of Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh traditions, the religious leaders said humanity "is at a crucial turning point. We as faith communities recognize that we must begin a transition away from polluting fossil fuels and towards clean renewable energy sources."
The unprecedented consensus resulting in the adoption of the Paris Agreement, welcomed by faith communities the world over, has opened up a new path towards a low-carbon, climate resilient transformation of the global economy. The global collaboration by all nations is proof that our shared values are far greater than any differences that divide us. It demonstrates that the sense of collective responsibility shared by all nations and society is far more powerful than the recklessness and greed of the few.