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Climate Change is man-made, says Cardinal Parolin

La Croix International staff - Poland - Sun, Dec 16th 2018

There is a moral imperative to act, for we all bear the responsibility to protect and to value creation, says the Vatican’s Secretary of State. 

Cardinal Pietro Parolin at an international summit on water and climate held in Rome on Oct. 23, 2017. (Photo by Gregorio Borgia/AP)

The Vatican’s Secretary of State has told delegates at the UN Climate Summit that climate change is caused by humans and that we all bear responsibility to protect and value creation.

Speaking at the COP-24 conference on Tuesday, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the international community also has a moral responsibility to address climate change.

“The scientific consensus is rather consistent and it is that, since the second half of the last century, warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” he said.

“The Holy See has often stressed that there is a moral imperative to act, for we all bear the responsibility to protect and to value creation for the good of this and future generations,” he said.

The 24th Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is taking place in Katowice, Poland Dec. 2-15.

“It is a very serious problem which, as I said, has grave consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of society and, clearly, for future generations,” he said.

Numerous scientific studies, moreover, have emphasized that human inaction in the face of such a problem carries great risks and socioeconomic costs, the cardinal said.

“The decisions and behaviors of one of the members of this family have profound consequences for the others; 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 added.

During his intervention at the XXIV Session of The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-24) High-Level Segment, Dec. 3, Cardinal Parolin referred to Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato Si', "On the Care of Our Common Home".

“Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature” the pope had said. “A change of mentality is necessary, centered on core values capable of highlighting the ethical and human dimension of climate change.”

Cardinal Parolin in his address pointed out that on the part of the Holy See, it is important that the Paris Agreement Work Programme be build on three pillars:

1) a clear ethical foundation;

2) the commitment to achieving three inextricably interlinked goals: advancing the dignity of the human person, alleviating poverty and promoting integral human development, and easing the impact of climate change through responsible mitigation and adaptation measures; and

3) a focus on meeting both the needs of the present and of the future.

Earlier, L’Osservatore Romano reiterated a declaration by16 heads of state of European countries in a joint declaration in view of the Cop24 UN climate conference. “Climate change is the key challenge of our time: our generation is the first to experience the rapid rise in temperatures all over the world and probably the last to actually fight the imminent global climate crisis,” the Vatican daily said.

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