Pope Francis called on the world’s nations to work together for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. “It is necessary for all of us to act decisively. For we are reaching a breaking point,” he stressed.
Richer countries have a larger ecological debt as they polluted the most in the last two centuries, so they should take more ambitious steps at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 in November in Egypt and the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 in December in Canada, according to Pope Francis.
In a message for the upcoming annual Season of Creation, the head of the Catholic Church told extractive industries to “stop destroying forests, wetlands and mountains, stop polluting rivers and seas, stop poisoning people and food.” The Season of Creation is an ecumenical Christian initiative for people worldwide to pray for and act to protect the environment. The period lasts from September 1 to October 4.
Countless species are dying out
“It is necessary for all of us to act decisively. For we are reaching a breaking point,” Pope Francis stressed, pointing to climate change and the responsibility of the rich countries to provide funds for the protection of biodiversity and fulfill their promises to financially assist the poor nations. Countless species are dying out, he warned.
The poor feel even more gravely the impact of the drought, flooding, hurricanes and heat waves that are becoming ever more intense and frequent, the pontiff warned
“Exposed to the climate crisis, the poor feel even more gravely the impact of the drought, flooding, hurricanes and heat waves that are becoming ever more intense and frequent. Likewise, our brothers and sisters of the native peoples are crying out. As a result of predatory economic interests, their ancestral lands are being invaded and devastated on all sides, provoking a cry that rises up to heaven. Finally, there is the plea of our children. Feeling menaced by shortsighted and selfish actions, today’s young people are crying out, anxiously asking us adults to do everything possible to prevent, or at least limit, the collapse of our planet’s ecosystems,” Pope Francis stated.
Consumption, lifestyles must change
The effort to achieve the Paris goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C is quite demanding; it calls for responsible cooperation between all nations in presenting climate plans or more ambitious nationally determined contributions in order to reduce to zero, as quickly as possible, net greenhouse gas emissions, the pontiff noted. He called for a change to the models of consumption and production, as well as lifestyles, in a way more respectful of creation and the integral human development of all peoples, with responsibility, prudence, solidarity and concern for the poor and for future generations.
“The transition brought about by this conversion cannot neglect the demands of justice, especially for those workers who are most affected by the impact of climate change. For its part, the COP15 summit on biodiversity, to be held in Canada in December, will offer to the goodwill of governments a significant opportunity to adopt a new multilateral agreement to halt the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of species,” Pope Francis underscored.