Pope, religious leaders sign climate appeal ahead of summit

Pope, religious leaders sign climate appeal ahead of summit
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Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope Benedict XVI says he attended meeting to discuss abusive priest Pope notes 'rising tensions' in Ukraine, calls for talks Pope promises justice for abuse victims day after Ratzinger report MORE on Monday joined other religious leaders in committing to climate goals and promising to encourage faithful people to live more sustainable lives ahead of the upcoming U.N. climate conference.

"We have inherited a garden; we must not leave a desert to our children," a joint appeal that the leaders signed said, according to The Associated Press.

This appeal will be passed on to Alok Sharma, the president of the COP26 conference, the AP said.

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Francis has often appealed to the moral duty of faithful people to care for God's creation to protect the environment. His appeals have focused on preserving the planet for future generations and for communities most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. 

On Monday, the pope was joined by imams, rabbis, patriarchs and reverends who collectively demanded protections for the planet, per the AP. 

The appeal was signed in the Apostolic Palace at an event jointly organized by the Holy See, Britain and Italy, which currently leads the Group of 20. For months, the religious leaders joined scientists to develop the appeal in an effort to spark momentum ahead of the Glasgow summit, the AP reported. 

Experts say the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, is a "make-or-break chance" to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to the AP.

In Glasgow, efforts will be made to secure commitments to limit global warming and protecting vulnerable habitats and communities. The summit is scheduled for Oct. 31 through Nov. 12. 

While the Vatican has not confirmed Pope Francis's attendance at the event, he is expected to be there, the AP said.