Meeting the leaders of the global oil industry, Francis reiterated that "catastrophic forecasts can no longer be viewed with contempt and irony". "They are the poor who suffer the worst impact of the climate crisis", they are the most vulnerable to hurricanes, droughts, floods and other extreme weather events.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - It is time to take action to face the climate emergency, to respond "to the increasingly desperate cry of the earth and its poor". Strong words, today, from Pope Francis on a theme, respect for the earth, particularly dear to him and a source for a particularly expert audience, given that it was the summits of the world oil companies, present in the Vatican for the meeting on energy transition and protection of the common home.
He began by stating: “Today’s ecological crisis, especially climate change, threatens the very future of the human family. This is no exaggeration. For too long we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis and “doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain” (Laudato Si’, 161). Any discussion of climate change and the energy transition must be rooted, then, in “the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply” (ibid., 15).”
“A significant development in this past year was the release of the “Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That Report clearly warns that effects on the climate will be catastrophic if we cross the threshold of 1.5ºC outlined in the Paris Agreement goal. The Report warns, moreover, that only one decade or so remains in order to achieve this confinement of global warming. Faced with a climate emergency, we must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations.”
The Pope continued: “Our children and grandchildren should not have to pay the cost of our generation’s irresponsibility. I beg your pardon, but I would like to emphasize this: they, our children and grandchildren should not have to pay – it is not right that they should pay – the price of our irresponsibility. Indeed, as is becoming increasingly clear, young people are calling for change (cf. Laudato Si’, 13). Today’s young people are saying, “The future is ours”, and they are right!”
Francis observed “carbon pricing is essential if humanity is to use the resources of creation wisely. The failure to deal with carbon emissions has incurred a vast debt that will now have to be repaid with interest by those coming after us. Our use of the world’s natural resources can only be considered ethical when the economic and social costs of using them are transparently recognized and are fully borne by those who incur them, rather than by other people or future generations (cf. Laudato Si’, 195).”
“Transparency in reporting climate risk, is essential because economic resources must be deployed where they can do the most good. Open, transparent, science-based and standardized reporting is in the common interests of all, enabling financial capital to move to those areas that support “the fullest possibilities to human ingenuity to create and innovate, while at the same time protecting the environment and creating more sources of employment” (Laudato Si’, 192).”
“Dear friends, time is running out! Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done, and concentrate on what needs to be done, starting today. We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward, or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires “our decisive action, here and now” (Laudato Si’, 161) and the Church is fully committed to playing her part.
In our meeting last year, I expressed the concern that “civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization!”Today a radical energy transition is needed to save our common home. There is still hope and there remains time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, provided there is prompt and resolute action, for we know that “human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start” (Laudato Si’, 205).”