Vatican City, 11 December 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a message to Manuel Pugal Vidal, minister for the environment of the Republic of Peru and president of the 20th Conference of States Party to the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change, held in Lima, Peru from 1 to 12 December. The Pope assured the organisers and participants of his closeness and encouragement “so that your work may be carried out during these days with an open and generous spirit”, and he remarked that the current debate affects all of humanity, in particular the poorest and future generations. “It is a grave ethical and moral responsibility”.
“The consequences of environmental change, which are already dramatically felt in many states, especially the islands of the Pacific, remind us of the grave consequences of mismanagement and inaction. The time for seeking global solutions is running out. We can find suitable solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There exists, however, a clear, definitive and unpostponable ethical imperative to act”. Pope Francis thus emphasised that an “effective battle against global warming will be possible only through a responsible collective response that sets aside particular interests and behaviours and develops free from political and economic pressures. A collective response that is also capable of overcoming distrust and promoting a culture of solidarity, encounter and dialogue; capable of demonstrating our responsibility for protecting the planet and the human family”.
Finally, before imparting his blessing to all the participants and the citizens of the countries represented, the Pontiff expressed his wish that this Conference and subsequent meetings on climate change put into effect “a dialogue imbued with … the values of justice, respect and equality”, and give rise to fruitful decisions and initiatives, in the service of all humanity.