Senior Catholic leaders have urged world leaders from the G20 group of countries to 'consign fossil fuels to history'.
The plea from more than 70 Church leaders, including cardinals, archbishops and heads of religious congregations, came ahead of the G20 leaders' meeting on 30-31 October.
The call follows a joint statement from Pope Francis and leaders from faith communities worldwide urging negotiators at the COP26 climate talks to agree urgent action to fight the climate crisis.
Church leaders speak out against climate injustice
In the statement, the leaders say:
"The voices from the communities we work with are ringing out. Climate change is a present reality that is affecting our brothers and sisters around the world, particularly those in poor and climate vulnerable communities who have contributed to this issue the least.
"We see increasingly severe and frequent droughts and floods, loss of crops, and destruction of land. We cannot and must not be quiet in the face of such suffering and injustice."
Read the statement in full
“Investments in fossil fuels continue to rise, even though scientists tell us that fossil fuels should remain underground… We continue along old paths because we are trapped by our faulty accounting and by the corruption of vested interests. We still reckon as profit what threatens our very survival.” (Pope Francis, “Climate Change and New Evidence from Science, Engineering, And Policy”, Meeting with Finance Ministers from Various Nations, 27 May 2019, Rome)
The voices from the communities we work with are ringing out. Climate change is a present reality that is affecting our brothers and sisters around the world, particularly those in poor and climate vulnerable communities who have contributed to this issue the least. We see increasingly severe and frequent droughts and floods, loss of crops, and destruction of land.
We cannot and must not be quiet in the face of such suffering and injustice.
The science is clear. The world needs to keep fossil fuels in the ground if we are to limit global warming to a below 1.5 degrees temperature rise by the end of 2030.
We therefore call on our governments to use the G20 meetings in October to consign fossil fuels to history by:
Stopping any new developments of coal, oil and gas within our own countries.
Immediately ending all funding of fossil fuels – including coal, oil and gas – abroad.
Massively scaling up investments in clean and safe forms of energy such as wind and solar power, that prioritise energy access for the poorest communities.
Making good on promises to provide climate finance to support communities already affected by the impacts of climate change.
Our moral duty is unquestionable. Advanced economies must act first to tackle climate change and must act quickly to protect current and future generations and our common home. We must face our historic responsibility and act with justice, standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in our own countries and around the world.
We need to act now. We do not have the luxury of time on our side.
Archbishop Jorge Lozano - Archbishop of San Juan de Cuyo, Argentina; General Secretary of CELAM (Bishops' Conference of Latin America)
Sr. Patricia McDermott, RSM - President, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Archbishop Andrés Stanovnik OFMCap. - Archbishop of Corrientes, Argentina
Bishop Oscar V. Ojea - Bishop of San Isidro; President, Bishops' Conference of Argentina
Bishop Carlos H. Malfa - Bishop of Chascomús, General Secretary, Bishops' Conference of Argentina
Bishop Gabriel Bernardo Barba - Bishop of San Luis, Argentina
Bishop Oscar Sarlinga - Bishop Emeritus of Zárate-Campana, Argentina
Bishop Carlos José Tissera - Bishop of Quilmes, President, Caritas Argentina
Bishop José María Baliña - Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bishop Jorge Lugones SJ - Bishop of Lomas de Zamora; President, Social Pastoral Commission, Bishops' Conference of Argentina
Bishop Hugo Norberto Santiago - Bishop of San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Buenos Aires
Bishop Fernando C Maletti - Bishop of Merlo-Moreno, Argentina
Bishop César Daniel Fernández - Bishop of Jujuy, Argentina
Bishop Dom Erwin Krautler - Bishop Emeritus of Xingu, Brazil; President, REPAM (Pan Amazonian Church Network) Brazil
Bishop Sebastião LIma Duarte - Bishop of Caxias do Maranhão, Brazil; President, Integral Ecology and Mining Commission, Bishops' Conference of Brazil
Bishop Vicente Ferreira - Auxiliary Bishop of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Bishop Cleonir Dal Bosco - Bishop of Bagé, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Bishop Edson Damian - Bishop of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Amazonas, Brazil
Bishop Vital Corbellini - Bishop of Marabá, Para, Brazil
Sr. Ana Ma. Pacheco R. - Superior General, Guadalupan Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, Mexico
Sr. Brigid Lawlor, RGS - Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
Sr. Carol Zinn, SSJ - Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, US
Sr. Corona Colleary - Area Leader, Columban Sisters, US
Sr. Moira Quinn, O.Ss.R. - Prioress, Redemptoristine Nuns of New York, US
Fr. Carl J. Markelz, O. Carm. - Prior Provincial, Carmelites, Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, US
Archbishop Gabriel Justice Anokye - Archbishop of Kumasi, Ghana; President of Caritas Africa
Bishop Sithembele Sipuka - Bishop of Umtata, South Africa; First Vice President, SECAM (Symposium of Bishops' Conferences of Africa and Madagascar)
Archbishop Siegfried Mandla Jwara CMM - Archbishop of Durban, South Africa
Bishop Kevin Dowling C.Ss.R. - Bishop Emeritus of Rustenburg, South Africa
Bishop Jan De Groef, M.Afr. - Bishop of Bethlehem, South Africa
Bishop Duncan Tsoke - Bishop of Kimberley, South Africa
Bishop Edward Risi OMI - Bishop of Keimoes-Upington, South Africa
Bishop Victor Phalana - Bishop of Klerksdorp, South Africa
Bishop Joseph Kizito - Bishop of Aliwal North, South Africa
Fr. Adrianus Suyadi, SJ - Secretary, Social Apostolates of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific
Fr. Fredy Rante Taruk, Pr - Director, Caritas Indonesia - KARINA
Fr. Benedictus Hari Juliawan SJ - Provincial, Indonesian Province of the Society of Jesus
Fr. Paul Moonjely - Executive Director, Caritas India
Sr. Choi Eunsook - Area Leader, Columban Sisters, South Korea
Archbishop Isao Kikuchi, SVD - Archbishop of Tokyo, Japan
Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich - Archbishop of Luxembourg; President of COMECE (Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union)
Archbishop Gianpiero Palmieri - Archbishop of Idassa, Italy
Archbishop Luigi Bressan - Archbishop Emeritus of Trento, Italy
Bishop Claudio Cipolla - Bishop of Padova, Italy
Bishop Francesco Oliva - Bishop of Locri-Gerace, Italy
Bishop Fortunato Morrone - Bishop of Reggio Calabria- Bova, Italy
Bishop Francesco Alfano - Bishop of Sorrento-Castellamare di Stabia, Italy
Bishop Giuseppe Satriano - Bishop of Bari-Bitonto, Italy
Archbishop Stephan Burger - Archbishop of Freiburg, Germany; responsible for MISEREOR
Bishop Dr. Bertram Meier - Bishop of Augsburg, Germany; Chair of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference Commission on International Church Affairs
Bishop Dr. Heiner Wilmer SCJ - Bishop of Hildesheim; Chair of Justitia et Pax Commission, Germany
Bishop John Arnold - Bishop of Salford; Environment Lead, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Bishop William Nolan - Bishop of Galloway, Scotland
Sr. Catherine Lavery - Provincial, Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux, Britain and Ireland
Fr. Damian Howard SJ - Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain
Sr. Anne Marie Smith - Area Leader, Columban Sisters, UK
Fr. Colm M. McGlynn OSM - Prior Provincial, Servite Friars, Province of the Isles
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv - Bishop of Parramatta, Australia; Chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service
Sr. Monica Cavanagh RSJ - Congregation Leader, Sisters of Saint Joseph, Australia
Br Peter Carroll FMS - President, Catholic Religious Australia
Anne Walker - National Executive Director, Catholic Religious Australia
Sr. Mary Barbuto NDS - Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion, Australia Regions Leader
Sr. Melissa Dwyer FdCC - Delegation Leader, Canossian Daughters of Charity, Australia
Sr. Brenda Kennedy CHF - Sisters of the Hoy Faith, Australia
Sr. Philippa Murphy FDNSC - Provincial Leader, Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Australia
Sr. Margaret Barclay PBVM - Congregation Leader, Presentation Sisters, Wagga Wagga, NSW Australia
Sr. Eveline Crotty RSM - Institute Leader, Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea
Fr Paul Cahill, O.Carm - Provincial, Carmelites of Australia & Timor-Leste
Sr. Lucy van Kessel - Congregation Leader, Presentation Sisters, Western Australia
Sr. Catherine Lacey SM - Unit Leader, Marist Sisters, Australia
Sr. Catherine McCahill SGS - Council Member, Sisters of the Good Samaritan, Australia, Japan, Philippines and Kiribati
Sr. Mary-Louise Petro RSM - Congregation Leader, Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta, NSW Australia
Sr. Kathleen Cotterill - Region Leader, Little Company of Mary Sisters, Region of the Southern Cross (Australia ,New Zealand and Tonga)
Fr Peter O’Neill - Missionary Society of St Columban, Australia
Sr. Hyesook Susanna Choi - Congregational Leader, Columban Sisters, International
Bishop Marc Stenger - Bishop Emeritus of Troyes, France; Co-President, Pax Christi International
Sr. Teresia Wamuyu Wachira - Co-President, Pax Christi International
Sr. Catherine O'Connor, CSB - Congregational Leader, The Sisters of St. Brigid, Australia
Tomas Insua - Executive Director, Laudato Si Movement