Blog from Pisa, Italy

September 20, 2018:

In 14 days, I will again join up with former Philippine Climate Commissioner Yeb Saño on my third climate pilgrimage, following walks in the Philippines (2014) and Rome to Paris a year later as the Paris COP-21 was about to commence. COP-24 in Katowice is planned to establish the rule book on implementing the Paris Agreement. This is an introduction to the blogs I will be reporting on during the 65 day journey commencing at the Vatican in Rome on October 4. Along the way I hope to report on events as they happen as we go from town to town, and country to country, sharing stories with people we meet en route as well as discussing with climate walkers their backgrounds and reasons for taking on this journey. Pictured: – Yeb at COP-21 in Paris.  (Alan Burns – owner of TGG)

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Announcement by Yeb Saño

The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is working with a wide range of organizations and faith communities in organizing The Climate Pilgrimage, which will take pilgrims through the countries of Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Czechia, and Poland.

This journey is a communion of people who come from different walks of life, from diverse faiths, but especially people from communities severely affected by the adverse impacts of climate change who are standing up for climate justice. Through the Pilgrimage, people from communities hard-hit by the climate crisis are walking in faith to deliver a message to the climate negotiators: the time for justice is now.

Along the route, we will hold conversations in local communities and engage in moments of deep reflection about the challenges and opportunities of the climate crisis. We will collect stories of witness from these encounters and take them to the world leaders at the United Nations climate summit. A strong, united show of support from people of faith around the world sends an important signal to decision-makers in their home countries.

The Climate Pilgrimage believes that climate change is a matter of justice. It is a matter of protecting the poor and the vulnerable among us.

Walking is a non-violent action. By answering the violence of climate change with peaceful pilgrimage and prayer, we walk in the steps of global spirituality and answer the demand for radical yet peaceful action for the good in this world. Through the Climate Pilgrimage, we deeply believe we can be powerful witnesses of our respective faiths.

Main dates:

  • October 3rd:  Proposed audience with Pope Francis and other spiritual leaders
  • October 4th: (Feast of St. Francis of Assisi) Walk starts from St. Peter’s Square
  • October 12: Assisi
  • November 4: Entry into Slovenia
  • November 13: Entry into Austria
  • November 20: Vienna
  • November 21: Entry into Slovakia
  • November 26: Entry into Czechia
  • December 5: Entry into Poland
  • December 9: Target Arrival in Katowice

See Climate Walks page for more information about previous walks and this year’s walks to Katowice, Poland. I will be blogging as the walk leads us from the Vatican in Rome, to our destination in Poland. I hope to explain the reasons some of the pilgrims have joined this action, and also report on people along the way and their issues as climate extremes are now becoming a fact of life. AB