Catholic World News

Vatican climate-change conference calls for ‘rapid world transformation’ to renewable, low-carbon energy

April 30, 2015

Participants in an April 28 Vatican workshop on climate change have issued a final statement.

Scientists, religious leaders, and business and political figures, including the UN secretary general and the president of Ecuador, took part in the interfaith conference, which was sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

“Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity,” the participants declared. “The poor and excluded face dire threats from climate disruptions, including the increased frequency of droughts, extreme storms, heat waves, and rising sea levels.”

“The world has within its technological grasp, financial means, and know-how the means to mitigate climate change while also ending extreme poverty, through the application of sustainable development solutions including the adoption of low-carbon energy systems supported by information and communications technologies,” the participants continued.

Calling for a “shift of public financing from military spending to urgent investments for sustainable development,” the participants stated:

The world should take note that the climate summit in Paris later this year (COP21) may be the last effective opportunity to negotiate arrangements that keep human- 2 induced warming below 2-degrees C, and aim to stay well below 2-degree C for safety, yet the current trajectory may well reach a devastating 4-degrees C or higher.

Political leaders of all UN member states have a special responsibility to agree at COP21 to a bold climate agreement that confines global warming to a limit safe for humanity, while protecting the poor and the vulnerable from ongoing climate change that gravely endangers their lives. The high-income countries should help to finance the costs of climate-change mitigation in low-income countries as the high-income countries have promised to do.

Climate-change mitigation will require a rapid world transformation to a world powered by renewable and other low-carbon energy and the sustainable management of ecosystems. These transformations should be carried out in the context of globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals, consistent with ending extreme poverty; ensuring universal access for healthcare, quality education, safe water, and sustainable energy; and cooperating to end human trafficking and all forms of modern slavery.


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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: filioque - Apr. 30, 2015 11:10 PM ET USA

    The only question that counts is, "What is the sensitivity of global temperature to increases in CO2 concentration?" If we don't know the answer to that question, then we can't say that human activity is causing dangerous change. We don't know the answer to that question. The answers plugged into the "climate models" are estimates, to put it kindly. The models don't accurately predict what actually happens, not even close, so the estimates are way off. It's that simple.

  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - Apr. 30, 2015 10:08 PM ET USA

    Now I understand why CS Lewis didnt convert to Catholicism. But... Well... Even if that stuff comes in an encyclical, I still won't feel obliged to embrace it as climate change (and global economic recovery according to a Keynesian timeframe, which is what is beneath all that) is hardly a magisterial topic.

  • Posted by: FredC - Apr. 30, 2015 8:07 PM ET USA

    Is this an infallible statement? For what year are they prophesying a devastating increase of 4 C? What norm are they using from which the 4 C is measured? Was the temperature in the 1300's more than 4 C higher? What is the response to the arguments from the scientists who deny the significance of the human effect?

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Apr. 30, 2015 6:53 PM ET USA

    What a sham. Notice the words of looking for a shift in financing to help the poor, universal healthcare, safe water, quality education, etc. This country has spent $22 trillion dollars on different programs since the "war on poverty" started. That's right- trillion. Yet look at all the increase in the numbers of "poor". This is a scam for a massive redistribution of resources(money). It is a one world government scheme and guess who will pay the most. The Church should step away.