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Internet, the Church and COP21.

Monday 30 November 2015, by SIGNIS

Paris, Brussels, November 30th, 2015 (Le Figaro/SIGNIS France/Ephatta/SIGNIS). The COP21, the United Nation Climate Change Conference, starts today in Paris. This event is important for the future of our planet and of our well-being. However, as a consequence of the recent Paris attacks, many meetings and demonstrations have been cancelled for security reasons. This is why many virtual initiatives have been implemented.

The Catholic Church, inspired by the publication, on June 18th, of Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si’, has committed itself to promote climate issues. It has joined with other religious groups to set up the website COP21 Religions in order to group all the events organized by the faith communities coming from all over the world: vigils, meetings, festivals, services, prayers, pilgrimages…

Marches planned for November 29th and December 12th have been replaced by on-line events.
March4Me is an initiative that has replaced the big demonstration planned for the 29th, so that NGOs can try to influence the negotiation.
Since November 25th, the website has been on line to help people who cannot march find someone who will march for them. Thanks to the website, someone living in a different city will be able to march for someone who can’t.

In the same spirit, in order to avoid big gatherings of people, the events planned on the Champs-Elysees by the city of Paris, Ikea, the Nicolas Hulot Fundation and l’Ademe have been re-designed. The lodges that Ikea was supposed to built “will be replaced by a web platform”.

In addition the “One heart one tree initiative”, will allow people to buy a tree or a forest that will be planted; as a light, under the Eiffel Tower, and in real life forest by an organization. The only obligation for those buying a tree (10 €) or a forest (7000 €) is to be the owner of a Smartphone or to have access to an Internet connection. However, the opening party has been cancelled.

If you want to go to the COP21 but can not find accommodation, go to the website of Ephatta. In collaboration with the French Catholic Church, they have implemented a virtual platform dedicated to COP21. The website gathers Christians from the entire world and connects people looking for a temporary place to stay with people willing to welcome them.
Finally, to follow all the events go to the official website of the conference or on Twitter, where you will be able to follow all the information with the official account @Cop21 and the hashtag #Cop21.

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