11 December 2014 - More than 15,000 people took part in Latin America's largest ever climate march in Lima as Catholic Bishops from around the world called for an end to the fossil fuel era.
Peru's first ever march to call for action on climate change saw throngs of colourful marchers stream through the streets of the capital Lima as ministers met at the UN climate summit to thrash out the basis of a global climate pact to be signed next year in Paris.
Christian Aid's Fran Witt said the act of public mobilisation showed how seriously climate change was taken in Latin America.
She said: "Peru is already suffering the impacts of climate change, from melting glaciers to higher temperatures. It is the poor who suffer disproportionately from climate change which is why it's imperative that governments act to cut carbon pollution and provide support to vulnerable nations who did nothing to cause this problem. It was inspiring to see so many people taking to the streets to make their voices heard."
Earlier in the day Catholic Bishops from around the world called for the phase out of fossil fuels and 'for all Catholics and people of good will' to engage in the process to secure a legally binding deal in Paris.
The Bishops from Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia said in their statement: "In recent decades many grave adversities such as climate change, with its devastating impact on nature itself, on food security, health and migration, led to a great number of suffering people worldwide."
They also called for very specific actions from countries including more funds to help poor countries adapt to climate change, a deal that would keep global average temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees above pre industrial levels and the phase out of fossil fuels and phase in of renewables. They said: "Central to this is to put an end to the fossil fuel era, phasing out fossil fuel emissions and phasing in 100 per cent renewables with sustainable energy access for all."
Ms Witt welcomed the leadership being shown by the church leaders. She said: "It's exciting to see faith leaders coming to the fore and speaking up on an issue of injustice. Faith groups are uniting around the world to stand with those who are suffering and calling on our elected leaders to make the decisions needed to create a safer world.
"The Fast For The Climate movement has just started a human chain of people giving up food each day from the Lima summit to until a deal is signed in Paris. This symbolic act will include people from many faiths, races, nationalities and walks of life to underline how this is a global problem which needs a global response."
Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor Mohamed Adow will be in Lima for the duration of the summit. He can be contacted for interviews on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact Joe Ware at email@example.com. The 24 hour Christian Aid press duty phone is 07850 242950.
Notes to editors:
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