New York (AsiaNews) - The worrying phenomenon of "climate change raises not only scientific, environmental and socio-economic considerations, but also and above all ethical and moral ones, because it affects everyone, in particular the poorest among us, those who are most exposed to its effects," said Card Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, at the Climate Summit, which is currently taking place along with the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations.
Since global warming "is a very serious problem," and "has grave consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of society and, clearly, for future generations," the Vatican representative called on the international community's sense of responsibility, and on the need to uphold a "culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogues" because "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."
"Creation is not some possession that we can lord over for own pleasure; nor, even less, is it the property of only some people, the few: creation is a gift, it is the marvellous gift that God has given us, so that we will take care of it and harness it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude" (Pope Francis, General Audience, 21 May 2014).
Studies show a high degree of interdependence. Indeed, "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".
Sadly, "we have too often seen the predominance of special interests or so-called 'free-riders' over the common good; we have too often noted a certain suspicion or lack of trust on the part of States, as well as on the part of other participants."
Hence, "if we really wish to be effective, we must implement a collective response based on a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue, which should be at the basis of normal interactions within every family and which requires the full, responsible and dedicated collaboration of all, according to their possibilities and circumstances."
"Market forces alone, especially when deprived of a suitable ethical direction, however, cannot resolve the interdependent crisis concerning global warming, poverty and exclusion. The greatest challenge lies in the sphere of human values and human dignity; questions which regard the human dignity of individuals and of peoples are not able to be reduced to mere technical problems. In this sense, climate change becomes a question of justice, respect and equity, a question which must awaken our consciences."
"The ethical motivations behind every complex political decision must be clear. At present, this means consolidating a profound and far-sighted revision of models of development and lifestyles, in order to correct their numerous dysfunctions and deviations (cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 32). This is also needed due to the many crises which present society is living in economic, financial, social, cultural and ethical contexts."
"Within this perspective, an authentic cultural shift is needed which reinforces our formative and educational efforts, above all in favour of the young, towards assuming a sense of responsibility for creation and integral human development of all people, present and future."
Thus, "The Holy See attaches great importance to the need to promote education in environmental responsibility, which also seeks to protect the moral conditions for an authentic human ecology.
"Confronting seriously the problem of global warming requires not only strengthening, deepening and consolidating the political process on a global level, but also intensifying our commitment to a profound cultural renewal and a rediscovery of the fundamental values upon which a better future for the entire human family can be built."