Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for the Vatican, says that human beings are the “principal cause” of global warming.
Representing the Holy See, Parolin spoke before the United Nations Climate Summit yesterday, calling for a concerted effort to combat climate change, since “human inaction in the face of such a problem carries great risks and socio-economic costs.”
Though acknowledging “how complex this issue is,” the Vatican official stated that the scientific consensus regarding climate change “is rather consistent,” and that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” something he referred to as “a very serious problem.”
Citing “numerous scientific studies,” the archbishop said that the principal cause of global warming “seems to be the increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere due to human activity.”
Parolin further called for aassured listeners that “the Holy See wishes to make its own contribution” tothe effort. He mentioned specifically that Vatican City State “is undertakingsignificant efforts to reduce its consummation of fossil fuels.”
Speaking of what he called the “concerning phenomenon” of global warming, Parolin said that climate change raises not only scientific, environmental and socio-economic considerations, but above all “ethical and moral ones,” especially because of its effects on “the poorest among us.”
In one ominous warning, the archbishop declared that “there are no political frontiers, barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect one member from another against the effects of global warming.”
He also cautioned that “market forces alone” cannot resolve the crisis of global warming, poverty and exclusion. If we really wish to be effective, he said, “we must implement a collective response based on a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue.”
Yesterday afternoon, Parolin met with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.