France - climate change

Religious leaders, philosophers debate climate change in Paris


What does Arnold Schwarzenagger have in common with photographer Sebastião Salgado, anti-globalisation advocate Vandana Shiva and the president of the Confucian academy, Dr Yun Kai Tong? They were all to gather in Paris on Tuesday to mobilise citizens to participate in environmental initiatives in run-up to the Cop21 climate conference in December.


In total more than 40 figures associated with religions, philosophies and artistic fields

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were to gather for the Sommet des consciences in Paris on 21 July for a series of dialogues to gather common consciousness around global climate issues.

President François Hollande, UN former secertary-general Kofi Annan and former right-wing ecology minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet were to speak.

The Cop21 conference is not just a political issue but also a spiritual issue, as all of humanity is deeply concerned and responsable, co-organiser Agnès Rochefort Turquin told RFI.

The idea was to inspire people around the world to organise similar events in their own countries.

Above all, participants aimed to answer the question, why do I care?

Professor of Confucian Studies at Beijing University, Professor Tu Weiming, insisted that the time is ripe for a change in a new "human ethos which respects diversity, by giving weight to all voices".

"It shifts its emphasis by reestablishing a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationship with Earth," he said.

The talks aim to draw a parallel between different belief systems and philosophies to find common ground between participants.

"Care for the Earth has become an integral part of the consciousness of religious leaders ... We are all suffering the same fate," Tu said in an interview with RFI.

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