U.N. Warned by Vatican: Extreme Weather Events Due to ‘Decades of Inaction’

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty

ROME — Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told the United Nations Sunday that human inaction has been at the root of global warming, which is in turn causing disease and extreme weather.

“The upcoming COP 26 in Glasgow is an important opportunity for resilience, as the international community has the chance to commit anew to the protection of our common home,” Cardinal Parolin told the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly.

“We are compelled to strengthen our ambition, since we are presently experiencing the effects of decades of inaction in terms of the extreme flooding, drought, wildfires, melting glaciers, receding shorelines, malnutrition and respiratory diseases that rising temperatures are precipitating,” the cardinal asserted.

“It is far past time to act,” he added, while seemingly tying recent extreme weather in Haiti to 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 adoption of an ambitious legally binding global agreement on climate change at the forthcoming UN conference in Paris, December 2015, along with calls for action against world poverty and other environmental causes. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists display banners calling for action against 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. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

“The tragic natural disasters that have struck our brothers and sisters in Haiti, a people already suffering from political and humanitarian challenges, is a clear call to the international community to work together in solidarity for a durable and sustainable development of which the people of Haiti may be the principal protagonists,” he said.

Parolin also expressed satisfaction with technological advances that have made clean energy more available.

“Recent attention toward the environment has spawned great advances in technology, allowing us to provide for our needs sustainably,” he said. “Human creativity and innovation in improving efficiency and decreasing the costs of clean energy are making environmentally conscious choices by governments and individuals easier.”

“Such innovations, while spurring similar entrepreneurial creativity, also inspire hope,” he said.

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