The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and Lead Bishop on the Environment, has met President Hollande to present climate justice petitions signed by almost two million people ahead of a final agreement at the United Nations Climate Change talks in Paris - COP21.
The result of a joint effort from networks of different faiths worldwide, the petitions were signed by 1,833,973 people calling for a fair, ambitious and binding deal as the United Nations COP21 climate summit reaches its close. The petitions were handed to President Hollande at a ceremony at the Élysée Palace.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, said: "People of all faiths urge parties to agree on a Paris deal applicable to all. Following the acts of terrorism in this city we want the world to act together, in care of our common home. For it to be ambitious, the agreement must include a long-term goal drastically cutting the world's carbon footprint and making the transition to clean energy. It must also have a tool to review and increase countries' contributions, to review and increase ambitions as gaps arise. When they go home, governments must actually start to deliver a low-carbon future. The message is simple - this is about our common home and we need to act together. This is not the end. This is the beginning of the journey and now we have to work hard in order to make this deal effective."
One of the pilgrims, Judith Tooth from the Church of England's Pilgrimage2Paris was also invited to the ceremony with the French President. Speaking after the ceremony Judith said: "I think from what the President said, he seemed moved by the efforts that we as pilgrims had gone to. Knowing that what we did has reached his ears and hopefully moved his heart. I feel very pleased."