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Pope Francis Speaks on COP22 Climate Change Meeting

Matteo Ciofi

Friday, November 18, 2016

CNS photo/Rajat Gupta, EPA
Last Tuesday Pope Francis sent a message to participants of the COP22 Climate Change meeting taking place in Marrakech, Morocco. In the text, the Holy Father recalled that the Paris Agreement has set out a clear path requiring the collaboration of all the international community, and he quoted extensively from his encyclical Laudato si’, exhorting the promotion of a culture of care for the environment, and reiterating that the fight against climate change is closely linked to the war on poverty.
“The current situation of environmental degradation," the pontiff said "which is strongly connected to the human, ethical and social degradation that we unfortunately experience daily, challenges us all, each of us with our own roles and competencies, and brings us together here with a renewed sense of awareness and responsibility”. 
A few days after the Paris Agreement on climate came into effect, which deals with greenhouse gas emissions mitigationadaptation and finance starting in the year 2020, Pope Francis called the participants to take the next step in the implementation of the Agreement.
The Pope stressed that the document represents “a significant acknowledgement of the fact that, when confronted with issues so complex as climate change, the individual and or national action is no longer sufficient, but there is a need to implement a responsible collective response truly aimed at achieving cooperation to build our common home.”
“The Paris Agreement has traced a clear path," Pope Francis said "on which the entire international community is called to engage and the COP22 represents a central stage in this journey. It affects all humanity, especially the poorest and the future generations, he continued, who represent the most vulnerable component of the troubling impact of climate change, and call us to the grave ethical and moral responsibility to act without delay, in a manner as free as possible from political and economic pressures, setting aside particular interests and behaviour.”
At the end of his message, the pontiff, speaking to the people involved in the meeting, said: “I convey my best wishes that the works of the Marrakech Conference be guided by that awareness of our responsibility that must drive each one of us to promote seriously a ‘culture of care which permeates all society’, care in relation to creation, but also for our neighbour, near or far in space and time. The lifestyle based on the throwaway culture is unsustainable and must have no place in our models of development and education. This is an educational and cultural challenge which must respond also to the process of implementing the Paris Agreement if it is to be truly effective.”

For more on the COP22 Climate Change Meeting, catch Vatican Connections Fridays at 8 pm ET!

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