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Pope Francesco Bergoglio addresses climate emergency

At the Casina Pio IV, the Pontiff Pope Francesco Bergoglio met with participants of the meeting promoted by the Department for the Service of Integral Human Development with leaders of the world oil companies.

The Italian edition of this article published by journalist Barbara Castelli of the Vatican City says: “Future generations are about to inherit a very ruined world. Our children and grandchildren should not have to pay the cost of the irresponsibility of our generation.

“It is a clear and incisive speech that Pope Francis addresses to the participants in the meeting, addressing, among others, the leaders of the world oil companies, the Pope expresses satisfaction for this second appointment in Rome: a positive sign of the ‘constant commitment to work together in a spirit of solidarity in order to promote concrete steps for the protection of our planet.’”

The human family is in danger

“Today’s ecological crisis, especially climate change,” the Pontiff acknowledged, “threatens the very future of the human family: and it is not ‘an exaggeration’. For too long, scientific analyzers have been ignored, looking ‘with contempt and irony’ at the relative ‘catastrophic prediction.’

Pope Bergoglio also referred to the special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5º C. on the pre-industrial levels of the intergovernmental group on climate change, which “clearly warns” about the consequences of the failure to reach the Paris agreements.

The report also warns that it is only a little over a decade to reach this global warming barrier. In the face of a climatic emergency, we must take appropriate measures, in order to avoid committing a grave injustice towards the poor and future generations.

We must act responsibly well considering the impact of our actions in the short and long term. Just being irresponsible – the irresponsibility of past and present generations cannot damage the future of the human family, especially of its most vulnerable members. It is the poor, in fact, who “suffer the worst impact of the climate crisis:” they are the “most vulnerable to hurricanes, drought, floods, and other extreme weather events.”

Therefore, courage is certainly required to respond “to the increasingly desperate cry of the Earth and its poor.” At the same time, future generations are about to inherit a very ruined world. Our children and grandchildren should not have to pay the cost of the irresponsibility of our generation. I apologize but I would like to emphasize this: they, our children, our grandchildren, will not have to pay said consequences; it is not right for them to pay the cost of our irresponsibility.”


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“In fact, as it is becoming increasingly evident, young people demand change. ‘The future is ours,’ the young people shout today, and they are right!”

Transition, price, and transparency


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Pope Francis then analysed the points brought into focus during the meeting: “a correct transition,” “The price of coal,” and “transparency in reporting climate risks.” Indeed, it is necessary to manage “the social and occupational impact of the transition to a low-carbon society,” and, at the same time, adopt an adequate “coal price policy,” “essential” to “use the resources of creation wisely.”

The failure to manage carbon emissions has produced a huge debt that will now have to be repaid with interest from those who come after us. Our use of common environmental resources can be considered ethical only when the social and economic costs of their use are recognized in a transparent manner and are fully supported by those who use them, rather than by other populations or future generations.

Finally, “transparency in reporting climate risks.”

“An open, transparent, scientifically-founded and regulated communication,” insists the Pontiff, “is in everyone’s interest, making it possible to move financial capital into those areas that offer the greatest possibilities to human intelligence to create and innovate, while protecting the environment and creating more job opportunities

Time is running out!

Pope Bergoglio then recalled that “civilization requires energy, but the use of energy must not destroy civilization” and that “a radical energy transition is needed to save our common home.

“Dear friends, time is running out! Reflections must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done, and focus on what needs to be done. We cannot afford the luxury of waiting for others to come forward, or giving priority to short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires specific action from us, here and now, and the Church is fully committed to doing its part.”