11 June 2014, The Tablet

France's faith groups fast for action on climate change

The French Catholic Church has joined local Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist religious leaders in supporting the “Fast for the Climate” interfaith campaign.

Supporters commit themselves to fasting on the first day of each month until the next United Nations climate conference in Paris in December 2015.

Nicolas Hulot, the French ecologist who is organising the conference, said he hoped to enlist Pope Francis in the worldwide campaign launched by the Lutheran World Federation. “As moral and spiritual authorities, the religions can shake up the politicians,” Mr Hulot said at a news conference announcing the initiative. “Believers and non-believers, defenders of nature, should hear this call. Once a month, the fasters will be ambassadors for greater sobriety in our societies of consumption.”

Speaking for the French bishops’ conference, Bishop Marc Stenger said: “The Church calls on the state and local governments to take decisive steps against climate change, despite the economic crisis, and free themselves from dependence on fossil fuels ... this is the occasion to invite Christians to change their lifestyles.”

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