Care for our common home / Laudato Si / Climate Change

Care for our common home - Pope Francis


ENCYCLICAL LETTER

 
OF THE HOLY FATHER
FRANCIS
ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME


meets Greta Thunberg
( Climate Activist / Founder of School Strike for the Climate and nominated for this years Nobel Peace Prize) 
17.04.19



Pope Francis  "Climate Change New Evidence and Policy"
  meeting with Finance Ministers from various nations 27.05.19

Pope Francis 27.05.19 Climate Change

We live at a time when profits and losses seem to be more highly valued than lives and deaths,
 and when a company’s net worth is given precedence over the infinite worth of our human family.
 You are here today to reflect on how to remedy this profound crisis
 caused by a confusion of our moral ledger with our financial ledger.
 You are here to help stop a crisis that is leading the world towards disaster...



Pope Francis  01.19.19 Care of Creation


“And God saw that it was good” (Gen 1:25). God’s gaze, at the beginning of the Bible, rests lovingly on his creation. From habitable land to life-giving waters, from fruit-bearing trees to animals that share our common home, everything is dear in the eyes of God, who offers creation to men and women as a precious gift to be preserved.

Tragically, the human response to this gift has been marked by sin, selfishness and a greedy desire to possess and exploit. Egoism and self-interest have turned creation, a place of encounter and sharing, into an arena of competition and conflict. In this way, the environment itself is endangered: something good in God’s eyes has become something to be exploited in human hands. Deterioration has increased in recent decades: constant pollution, the continued use of fossil fuels, intensive agricultural exploitation and deforestation are causing global temperatures to rise above safe levels. The increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather phenomena and the desertification of the soil are causing immense hardship for the most vulnerable among us. Melting of glaciers, scarcity of water, neglect of water basins and the considerable presence of plastic and microplastics in the oceans are equally troubling, and testify to the urgent need for interventions that can no longer be postponed. We have caused a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself, including our own.

In effect, we have forgotten who we are: creatures made in the image of God (cf. Gen 1:27) and called to dwell as brothers and sisters in a common home. We were created not to be tyrants, but to be at the heart of a network of life made up of millions of species lovingly joined together for us by our Creator. Now is the time to rediscover our vocation as children of God, brothers and sisters, and stewards of creation. Now is the time to repent, to be converted and to return to our roots. We are beloved creatures of God, who in his goodness calls us to
love life and live it in communion with the rest of creation.

For this reason, I strongly encourage the faithful to pray in these days that, as the result of a timely ecumenical initiative, are being celebrated as a Season of Creation. This season of increased prayer and effort on behalf of our common home begins today, 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on 4 October, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. It is an opportunity to draw closer to our brothers and sisters of the various Christian confessions. I think in particular of the Orthodox faithful, who have celebrated this Day for thirty years. In this ecological crisis affecting everyone, we should also feel close to all other men and women of good will, called to promote stewardship of the network of life of which we are part.

This is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew by closeness to nature, which spontaneously leads us to give thanks to God the Creator. Saint Bonaventure, that eloquent witness to Franciscan wisdom, said that creation is the first “book” that God opens before our eyes, so that, marvelling at its order, its variety and its beauty, we can come to love and praise its Creator (cf. Breviloquium, II, 5, 11). In this book, every creature becomes for us “a word of God” (cf. Commentarius in Librum Ecclesiastes, I, 2). In the silence of prayer, we can hear the symphony of creation calling us to abandon our self-centredness in order to feel embraced by the tender love of the Father and to share with joy the gifts we have received. We can even say that creation, as a network of life, a place of encounter with the Lord and one another, is “God’s own ‘social network’” (
Audience for the Guides and Scouts of Europe, 3 August 2019). Nature inspires us to raise a song of cosmic praise to the Creator in the words of Scripture: “Bless the Lord, all things that grow on the earth, sing praise to him and highly exalt him forever” (Dan 3:76 Vg).

It is also a season to reflect on our lifestyles, and how our daily decisions about food, consumption, transportation, use of water, energy and many other material goods, can often be thoughtless and harmful. Too many of us act like tyrants with regard to creation. Let us make an effort to change and to adopt more simple and respectful lifestyles! Now is the time to abandon our dependence on fossil fuels and move, quickly and decisively, towards forms of clean energy and a sustainable and circular economy. Let us also learn to listen to indigenous peoples, whose age-old wisdom can teach us how to live in a better relationship with the environment.

This too is a season for undertaking prophetic actions. Many young people all over the world are making their voices heard and calling for courageous decisions. They feel let down by too many unfulfilled promises, by commitments made and then ignored for selfish interests or out of expediency. The young remind us that the earth is not a possession to be squandered, but an inheritance to be handed down. They remind us that hope for tomorrow is not a noble sentiment, but a task calling for concrete actions here and now. We owe them real answers, not empty words, actions not illusions.

Our prayers and appeals are directed first at raising the awareness of political and civil leaders. I think in particular of those governments that will meet in coming months to renew commitments decisive for directing the planet towards life, not death. The words that Moses proclaimed to the people as a kind of spiritual testament at the threshold of the Promised Land come to mind: “Therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live” (Dt 3:19). We can apply those prophetic words to ourselves and to the situation of our earth. Let us choose life! Let us say “no” to consumerist greed and to the illusion of omnipotence, for these are the ways of death. Let us inaugurate farsighted processes involving responsible sacrifices today for the sake of sure prospects for life tomorrow. Let us not give in to the perverse logic of quick profit, but look instead to our common future!

In this regard, the forthcoming United Nations Climate Action Summit is of particular importance. There, governments will have the responsibility of showing the political will to take drastic measures to achieve as quickly as possible zero net greenhouse gas emissions and to limit the average increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius with respect to pre-industrial levels, in accordance with the Paris Agreement goals. Next month, in October, the Amazon region, whose integrity is gravely threatened, will be the subject of a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Let us take up these opportunities to respond to the cry of the poor and of our earth!

Each Christian man and woman, every member of the human family, can act as a thin yet unique and indispensable thread in weaving a network of life that embraces everyone. May we feel challenged to assume, with prayer and commitment, our responsibility for the care of creation. May God, “the lover of life” (Wis 11:26), grant us the courage to do good without waiting for someone else to begin, or until it is too late.




Pope Francis                    Message to  United Nations Climate Action Summit  23.09.19

Pope Francis  23.09.19 United Nations Climate Change Summit


Greetings to participants at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019.

I would like to thank the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, for convening this meeting and for drawing the attention of Heads of State and Government - and of the entire international community and world public opinion - to one of the most serious and worrying phenomena of our time: climate change.

This is one of the principal challenges we have to face. To do so, humanity is called to cultivate three great moral qualities: honesty, responsibility and courage.

With the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015, the international community became aware of the urgency and need for a collective response to help build our common home. However, four years after that historic Agreement, we can see that the commitments made by States are still very "weak", and are far from achieving the objectives set.

Along with so many initiatives, not only by governments but by civil society as a whole, it is necessary to ask whether there is a real political will to allocate greater human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations, who suffer the most.

While the situation is not good and the planet is suffering, the window of opportunity is still open. Despite everything. Let us not let it close. Let us open it with our determination to cultivate integral human development, to ensure a better life for future generations. “Although the post-industrial period may well be remembered as one of the most irresponsible in history, nonetheless there is reason to hope that humanity at the dawn of the twenty-first century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities."

With honesty, responsibility and courage we have to put our intelligence "at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral", capable of placing economy at the service of the human person, building peace and protecting the environment.

The problem of climate change is related to issues of ethics, equity and social justice. The current situation of environmental degradation is connected with the human, ethical and social degradation that we experience every day. This forces us to think about the meaning of our models of consumption and production, and the processes of education and awareness, to make them consistent with human dignity. We are facing a "challenge of civilization" in favour of the common good. This is clear, just as it is clear that we have a multiplicity of solutions that are within everyone's reach, if we adopt on a personal and social level a lifestyle that embodies honesty, courage and responsibility.

I would like these three key words - honesty, courage and responsibility - to be at the heart of your work today and tomorrow.

Thank you very much.





Pope Francis                    Message to  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Action   01.12.19


To Her Excellency, Mrs. Carolina Schmidt,
Minister of Environment of Chile,
President of the COP25, Twenty-Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties
to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(Madrid, 2-13 December 2019)

On December 12, 2015, the COP 21 adopted the Paris Agreement, the implementation of which “will require concerted commitment and generous dedication by each one”.
[1]

Its rapid entry into force, in less than a year, and the numerous meetings and debates aimed at reflecting on one of the main challenges for humanity,
[2] that of climate change, and at identifying the best ways to implement the Paris Agreement, showed a growing awareness on the part of the various actors of the international community of the importance and need to “work together in building our common home”.[3]

Sadly, after four years, we must admit that this awareness is still rather weak, unable to respond adequately to that strong sense of urgency for rapid action called for by the scientific data at our disposal, such as those described by the recent Special Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
[4] These studies show that the current commitments made by States to mitigate and adapt to climate change are far from those actually needed to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement.

They demonstrate how far words are from concrete actions!

Presently, there is a growing agreement on the need to promote processes of transition as well as a transformation of our development model, to encourage solidarity and to reinforce the strong links between the fight against climate change and poverty. This is further demonstrated by the many initiatives implemented or in progress, not only by Governments but also by local communities, the private sector, civil society and individuals. There remains, however, much concern about the ability of such processes to respect the timeline required by science, as well as the distribution of the costs they require.

From this perspective, we must seriously ask ourselves if there is the political will to allocate with honesty, responsibility and courage, more human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change, as well as to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations who suffer from them the most.
[5]

Numerous studies tell us that it is still possible to limit global warming. To do this we need a clear, far-sighted and strong political will, set on pursuing a new course that aims at refocusing financial and economic investments toward those areas that truly safeguard the conditions of a life worthy of humanity on a “healthy” planet for today and tomorrow.

All this calls us to reflect conscientiously on the significance of our consumption and production models and on the processes of education and awareness to make them consistent with human dignity.

We are facing a “challenge of civilization” in favour of the common good and of a change of perspective that places this same dignity at the centre of our action, which is clearly expressed in the “human face” of climate emergencies. There remains a window of opportunity, but we must not allow it to close. We need to take advantage of this occasion through our responsible actions in the economic, technological, social and educational fields, knowing very well how our actions are interdependent.

Young people today show a heightened sensitivity to the complex problems that arise from this “emergency”. We must not place the burden on the next generations to take on the problems caused by the previous ones. Instead, we should give them the opportunity to remember our generation as the one that renewed and acted on - with honest, responsible and courageous awareness - the fundamental need to collaborate in order to preserve and cultivate our common home. May we offer the next generation concrete reasons to hope and work for a good and dignified future! I hope that this spirit will animate the work of COP25, for which I wish every success.

Receive, Madam President, my warmest and most cordial greetings.

From the Vatican, 1 December 2019



FRANCIS

_____________________

[1] Words following the Angelus Address, 13 December 2015.

[2] Cfr. Laudato si’, n. 25.

[3] Cfr. Laudato si’, n. 13. Cfr. Message to the COP 23, Marrakesh, 10 November 2016.

[4] Cfr. IPCC: Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty, 6 October 2018. IPCC: Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems, 7 August 2019; IPCC: Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, 24 September 2019.

[5] Cfr. Pope Francis, Video Message to the Climate Actions Summit, New York, 23 September 2019.

*
Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 4 December 2019