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Climate conference in Dubai. Pope Francis’ appeal

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Climate change is “a global social problem that is closely linked to the dignity of human life,” Pope Francis said in his message to participants of the COP28 climate conference in Dubai. He appealed to “stop the delirium of violence” against the environment.

The Pope explained in the message: “Unfortunately, I cannot be with you as I wanted, but I am with you because time is pressing. I am with you because now, as never before, the future of each of us depends on the present we choose.

“I am with you,” he added, “because the devastation of creation is an offense against God, not only a personal sin, but a structural sin that falls on human beings, especially the weakest, a grave danger that threatens everyone and can spark conflict between generations.”

Global social problem

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Francis expressed his belief that climate changes are “a global social problem that is closely linked to the dignity of human life.”

“I am with you to ask the question that we must answer now: are we working for a culture of life or death? I am asking you with all my heart: let’s choose life, let’s choose the future!” – he appealed.

The text of the speech by the Pope, who could not come due to illness, was read on Saturday by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Pope Francis in the Paul VI hallPAP/EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI

“We have a great responsibility”

Francis called to listen to the groans of the Earth, to hear the cries of the poor, to listen to the hopes of young people and children.

“We have a great responsibility: to ensure that they are not denied a future,” he pointed out.

The Pope emphasized that human activity in recent decades has become unbearable for the ecosystem, and its result is climate change.

“The ambition to produce and own has turned into an obsession and resulted in boundless greed, which has made the environment an object of unrestrained exploitation,” he said.

He recalled the saying: “the climate has gone crazy,” noting that it sounds like a warning to “stop this delirium of omnipotence.”

“Let us return to the humble and courageous recognition of our limitations as the only way to live fully,” he asked.

He pointed to the existing divisions as an obstacle to achieving this goal.

“We are witnessing rigid, if not unyielding, positions that tend to protect their own and their companies’ revenues, sometimes justifying themselves by what others have done in the past, with periodic shifting of responsibility,” Francis says.

Controversy surrounding the organization of COP28 in Dubai. BBC: The United Arab Emirates wants to conclude oil and gas contracts behind the scenesJustyna Zuber/Fakty o Świecie TVN24 BiS

Putting the blame on the poor and the birth rate

Addressing the participants of COP28, he emphasized: “the task to which we are called today is not about yesterday, but about tomorrow. Tomorrow, which, whether we want it or not, will either belong to everyone or it will not exist.”

He found the attempts to place the blame on the poor and birth rates particularly striking.

In his opinion, this is a taboo that should be decisively abolished. “It is not the fault of the poor, because almost half of the world, even the poorest, is responsible for only 10 percent of pollution emissions, while the gap between the wealthy few and the many in need has never been so huge,” he recalled.

“Birth – he added – is not a problem, but a wealth: it is not directed against life, but is for life, while certain ideological and practical patterns, imposed on families and populations with velvet gloves, constitute real colonization.”

Pietro Parolin read the message of Pope Francis at the forum in Dubai Reuters

Ecological debt

According to the Pope, the development of many countries is already burdened with burdensome economic debts. “Rather, it is necessary to consider the impact of a few countries responsible for a disturbing ecological debt on so many others,” he said. Therefore, in his opinion, it would be right to find appropriate ways to write off the financial debts that burden various nations, also in the light of the ecological debt owed to them.

Francis recalled the words of St. John Paul II from a speech at the forum UN in 1995, when he spoke of the loss of “the common awareness of being a family of nations.”

According to Francis, it is necessary to rebuild trust as the basis of multilateralism.

“How much energy is humanity wasting on the numerous ongoing wars, as in Israel and Palestine, in Ukraine and in many regions of the world: conflicts that do not solve problems but deepen them! How many resources are wasted on armaments that destroy lives and ruin our common home.” – he emphasized.

Francis added: “I make a proposal: from the money used for weapons and other military expenses, let us create a Global Fund to finally eliminate hunger” and “let us implement activities promoting sustainable development of the poorest countries, combating climate change.”

He expressed his belief that climate change signals the need for political change.

“Let’s get out of the narrowness of particularisms and nationalisms, these are patterns from the past. Let’s adopt an alternative, common vision: it will enable ecological conversion,” he appealed.

He encouraged: “Let this COP be a turning point: let it show clear and tangible political will to dramatically accelerate the ecological transformation, through forms that have three characteristics: they are effective, binding and easily monitored.”

Climate change is causing the average temperature on Earth to rise.  What can this mean?

Climate change is causing the average temperature on Earth to rise. What can this mean?Fakty TVN

Areas of action

He identified four areas of action: energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, elimination of fossil fuels and education for a lifestyle less dependent on fossil fuels.

“Please: let’s move forward, let’s not go backwards,” he added. “Be the architects of a policy that would give concrete and coherent answers, showing the nobility of the role you play, the dignity of the service you perform,” he asked world leaders.

He noted that there is a “despicable division into fan groups”: “between catastrophists and indifferents, between radical ecologists and climate change deniers.”

The Pope emphasized that it is useless to enter these types of camps because it does not lead to any remedy. According to him, the remedy is good politics.

He appealed: “let us abandon divisions and join forces! And, with God’s help, let us emerge from the night of wars and environmental devastation to transform our common future into a dawn of light.”

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI

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