Reactions to climate change are “insufficient while the world (…) is collapsing”, deplores Pope Francis in a text published Wednesday, a few weeks before COP28, the climate negotiations under the aegis of the UN in Dubai.
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On Wednesday October 4, Pope Francis launched a new cry of alarm in the face of global warming and called for a “binding” energy transition in a text published a few weeks before COP28 in Dubai.
Eight years after the publication of his founding encyclical on integral ecology, “Laudato si'”, the 86-year-old Argentine Jesuit deplores “insufficient responses while the world (…) is collapsing” and approaches of a “breaking point”.
Entitled “Laudate Deum” (“Praise God”), this new 12-page document in Spanish and translated into several languages calls on major powers to “reconfigure multilateralism” as targets for reducing carbon emissions seem increasingly difficult to reach.
The head of the Catholic Church insists in particular on the need for a “binding” energy transition, in the form of a direct appeal to the participants in the climate negotiations under the auspices of the UN (COP28) which will be held at the beginning of December in Dubai.
According to him, this conference can represent a “turning point” in the event of a binding agreement on the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources such as wind and solar, otherwise it will be “a great disappointment”. “It is only through such a process that the credibility of international politics can be restored,” he believes.
Jorge Bergoglio, who has made the defense of the “Common Home” a recurring theme of his pontificate since his election in 2013, also warns against the “contemptuous and unreasonable opinions” of climate skeptics, “even within the Church Catholic”.
“The signs of climate change are here”
“In recent years, many people have tried to make fun of this observation,” he laments, against a backdrop of the proliferation of false information relativizing global warming or “ridiculing” those who talk about it.
“No matter how much we try to deny them, hide them, conceal them or put them into perspective, the signs of climate change are there, ever more obvious,” warns the Pope, deeming the explosion in the number of climate migrants “probable.” “in a few years”.
In this apostolic exhortation of 73 paragraphs with a didactic tone, the Pope once again insists on the damage caused by “the frantic intervention of Man on nature” and castigates the “irresponsible way of life of the Western model”, pointing in particular pointing the finger at the United States and China for their greenhouse gas emissions.
More generally, he deplores the fact that “the climate crisis is not really a subject of interest for the major economic powers, concerned with the greatest profit at the lowest cost and in the shortest possible time”.
In 2015, “Laudato si” (“Praise be to you”), a 200-page manifesto for solidarity in order to act together to protect the environment, sparked a global debate, an unprecedented phenomenon for a text religious, including comments in scientific journals.
A few months later, significant progress was obtained with the Paris climate agreement, the primary objective of which is to keep the temperature rise below 2°C.
The UN warned last month that the world was not on track to meet this goal, with 2023 expected to be the hottest year in human history, with a summer marked by heatwaves , droughts and fires.
According to experts, this new text should have less impact than the first, but Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, an international environmental organization, believes that “the work of religious leaders around the world may represent our best chance to recover things in hand.”
“Yes, the engineers have done their job. Yes, the scientists have done their job. But it is high time that the human heart also did its job. That is why we need this leadership,” he said. -he adds.