Caroline congratulates Pilgrimage2Paris ahead of COP21

After fourteen days and over 200 miles of walking forty pilgrims have arrived in the French capital as part of the Pilgrimage2Paris ahead of COP21, the UN Climate Change Conference which starts on Monday.

The pilgrims have been walking to call on COP21 to reach a fair, ambitious and binding climate deal. On Saturday the pilgrims will be taking part in an interfaith gathering, followed by a hand-in of campaign petitions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Rev Nick Holtam, lead bishop on the environment for the Church of England said: "I am delighted that the pilgrims have reached their destination. Their commitment and determination has been very moving.  It was a privilege to be able to send the pilgrims off on this spiritual journey more than two weeks ago and stand together in solidarity for climate justice, because climate change is having an impact now on the world's poorest and most vulnerable.

"As we turn to the summit about to begin in Paris I hope and expect that the world will be able to make good and binding agreements with a process of review that will hold us accountable for making urgent change.  We all need to join with the pilgrims on this journey."

The pilgrimage was organised by the Church of England and major aid agencies Christian Aid, CAFOD and Tearfund.

For more information, and to read what the pilgrims got up to as they travelled, visit www.pilgrimage2paris.org.uk, or follow @pilgrims2paris on Twitter and Instagram.

Caroline Spelman MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner commented: "I congratulate the pilgrims on making the journey to Paris for the Climate Conference and in highlighting the impact our changing climate is having on the world. Following the recent tragedy in Paris, it is especially important that the international community stands in solidarity with the French people. The Climate Conference is a perfect opportunity to show the world nations putting aside their differences and demonstrating we can work together for the common good.

"I am confident that our Government's representatives will press hard for a two degree deal and look forward to seeing the outcome from the conference. I hope members of the Church will join me in praying for all those attending the Conference and a positive outcome for all."