TACKLING the problem of climate change is a serious ethical and moral responsibility, Pope Francis told negotiators from around the world meeting for a climate summit in Lima, Peru.
“The time to find global solutions is running out. We can find adequate solutions only if we act together and unanimously,” he said in a written message to Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who is Peru’s Minister of the Environment and host president of the 20th United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Thousands of negotiators from 195 countries gathered for the meeting in Lima from December 1-12 to hammer out details of a new international agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
The Vatican released a copy of the Pope’s message yesterday (December 11).
The Pope encouraged the leaders in their discussions because their decisions would “affect all of humanity, especially the poorest and future generations. What’s more, it represents a serious ethical and moral responsibility.”
The impact climate change already had been having on coastal regions and other areas “reminds us of the seriousness of negligence and inaction”, he said. It was morally imperative that people acted.
“An effective fight against global warming will be possible only with a collective and responsible answer” that overcame one-sided or special interests and was “free from political and economic influence”, he said.
The Pope said the leaders’ response would have to “overcome distrust; promote a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue; and be capable of showing responsibility for protecting the planet and the human family”.