Vatican Calls for ‘Urgent Action and Urgent Decisions’ to Stop Climate Change

Activists display banners calling for action against world poverty, climate chanege and other environmental issues as they arrive on St. Peter's square prior to Pope Francis's Sunday Angelus prayer on June 28, 2015 at the Vatican. The activists included Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and those of other denominations calling for …

The Vatican delegation to the U.N. Climate summit in Katowice, Poland, has issued an “urgent call for ambition, action, and true solidarity” in battling climate change.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Monsignor Bruno-Marie Duffé, coordinator of the Holy See delegation, said that the climate crisis has economic, social, and financial aspects, while insisting on the call of Pope Francis to listen attentively to the cries of the earth, which is “groaning out in travail.”

The Vatican delegation has also urged nations to pay heed to climate scientists and particularly the latest IPCC report, which “shows clearly the devastating impact of climate change on communities around the world.”

The Vatican also held up the contributions of other participants in the meeting, notably Mercy Chirambo, representative of Caritas Malawi (CADECOM), and Joseph Sapati Moeono-Kolio, representative of the Pacific Climate Warriors.

“The panelists strongly called for urgent action in solidarity with the most vulnerable,” the Vatican said in its communiqué.

For her part, Mercy Chirambo said that climate change has a specific impact on the life of women. “As it is clear, in our case, the impact on the life of human beings is not just physical but also emotional,” she said.

Joseph Sapati Moeono-Kolio said that “the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is the difference between us leaving our islands forever and getting to stay,” and “we need to understand that people are right at the center of this issue.”

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, delivered a message to meeting participants on behalf of Pope Francis in which he denounced climate “denial” and urged positive action to curb global warming.

The cardinal said that information from the IPCC report is “even more worrying given that the current commitments made by States to mitigate and adapt to climate change are not sufficient to achieve the objectives set by the Paris Agreement.”

While “it is still possible to limit global warming,” Parolin said, “to do so will require a clear, forward-looking and strong political will to promote as quickly as possible the process of transitioning to a model of development that is free from those technologies and behaviours that influence the over-production of greenhouse gas emissions.”

At the end of Wednesday’s press conference, Msgr. Duffé praised current action against climate change happening at the level of local communities.

“It is really important to remember all the progress in our history which is not only at the level of political decision makers,” he said. “We need them, we need international authority, but we have to see and consider all commitments of all peoples, all communities.”

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