Ecumenical Patriarch blasts ‘disgraceful’ inaction on climate change, says ‘survival of God’s creation’ is at stake
November 04, 2016
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, has written a message to participants in COP22, the upcoming UN climate change conference in Morocco.
Noting that such international meetings have been taking place for over two decades, the Ecumenical Patriarch wrote on November 3 that 22 years “is an unacceptably long period to respond to the environmental crisis, especially when we are conscious of its intimate and inseparable connections to global poverty, migration and unrest.”
“Twenty-two years, moreover, is an unjustifiably interminable period to tackle the expansion of fossil fuels, when scientists inform us we have less than two decades not simply to reduce but in fact to replace them with renewable energy,” he continued. “Twenty-two years is, indeed, disgracefully belated for governments apathetically to pursue the same politics, for corporations dishonestly to ‘greenwash’ the same policies, and for individuals arrogantly to continue the same practices.”
It is human beings – all of us, but especially the “least” and most vulnerable or marginalized among us – that are inequitably affected and irreversibly impacted. How, then, can any nation justify the suffering of its people? How can any industry defend the exploitation of its consumer? Unless we all perceive in our attitudes and actions, as in our deliberations and decisions, the faces of our own children – in the present and in future generations – then we shall continue to prolong and procrastinate the development of any solution; and we shall persist in obstructing or restricting any implementation.
What price are we prepared to pay for profit? Or how many lives are we willing to sacrifice for material or financial gain? And at what cost would we forfeit or forestall the survival of God’s creation?
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- Message By His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew To the UNFCCC COP22 Session Marrakech, Morocco, November 7-18, 2016
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