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Vatican message for World Tourism Day calls for steps against climate change

July 24, 2012

The Vatican’s annual message for World Tourism Day is devoted to the theme of sustainable energy, arguing that “tourism not only contributes to global warming: it is also a victim of it.”

The Vatican message—released by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and signed by that body’s president, Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, notes that the Holy See has always joined in the annual observance of World Tourism Day, which will be marked this year on September 27.

The Vatican, the message says, has always recognized the day as “an opportunity to dialogue with the civil world and offers its concrete contribution, based on the Gospel.” The document cites Pope Benedict’s teaching that the preservation of the environment requires changes in a consumerist and materialist way of life.

Regarding tourism, the Pontifical Council argues that it is irresponsible to assume that “an infinite quantity of energy and resources are available, that it is possible to renew them quickly, and that the negative effects of the exploitation of the natural order can be easily absorbed.” The document says that the consumption of fossil-fuel energy is threatening sensitive environments, including those in popular tourist locations. The message calls upon the tourism industry to “adapt to the conditions of climate change by reducing its emissions of hothouse gas, which at present represent 5% of the total.”


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  • Posted by: normnuke - Jul. 25, 2012 10:58 AM ET USA

    This message from a 'Vatican council' manages to fit "sustainable", "global warming", and "victim" into a single sentence about tourism. All the more amazing since tourism doesn't really have much to do with them. Or anything else.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Jul. 24, 2012 6:53 PM ET USA

    I'm up in the air on "global warming" but there is no shame in trying to reduce the damage we do to God's Creation by reducing our consumption. Part of the problem is the materialist view of life that is now a global problem as well as an economic system that says endless growth is both possible and ideal. The only way there can be endless growth in the economy is if advertisers dupe people into believing they need to consume more and more each year.