As reported in various news outlets including The Guardian, the Vatican released a statement on Monday connecting environmentalism and social justice, five months following the release of his encyclical on the environment:
The Catholic church has called on UN negotiators convening in Paris at the end of November to agree a goal for “complete decarbonisation” by 2050, and set a legally binding agreement to limit global temperature increase.
It also comes not long after the Pope’s visit to the United States, during which he spoke on climate change as “a result of human activity.”
The church is demanding that the Paris agreement limit the global temperature increase and that it serve to protect, in particular, communities suffering the effects of climate change, such as the Pacific Islands and coastal regions.
In a nod to Francis’s frequent assessment that rich countries have a debt to pay to poorer ones, the statement called for “ambitious mitigation commitments” to be agreed and said each country ought to recognise “common but differentiated responsibilities” based on equity principles and historical responsibilities.
“Those responsible for climate change have responsibilities to assist the most vulnerable in adapting and managing loss and damage, and to share the necessary technology and knowhow,” it said.
In the New York Times:
The proposal includes putting “an end to the fossil fuel era,” phasing out emissions by midcentury and providing “affordable, reliable and safe renewable energy access for all.” It also calls for the development of “new models of development and lifestyle.”
Governments must also set limits to global temperature increases, the appeal stated. Decisions made in Paris must be legally binding, the prelates said.
“It’s not a wish or a recommendation but something that is going to tie the hands of governments, we hope,” Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, India, said at a news conference Monday.
Photo from Huffington Post.