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Catholic World News

Vatican diplomat: Address climate change—but not through population control

March 20, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: At a discussion on climate change organized by the UN Human Rights Council, a leading Vatican diplomat said that “climate change is a leading cause of the current, unprecedented rise in global hunger,” and added that the Holy See “is firmly convinced that blaming the poor or high birth rates for climate change and food insecurity is misleading, false, and unacceptable.”

“Decisive human action is necessary to address climate change, as it is primarily caused by human activity,” said Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, apostolic nuncio and Permanent Observer to the United Nations Office and Specialized Agencies in Geneva. In calling for action to address climate change, he emphasized that “children are a resource, not a problem—they enrich life, not diminish it.”

“The emissions per capita of wealthier countries are significantly higher than those of poorer countries,” he continued. “It is a fact that the latter, who make up almost half of the world’s population, are responsible for barely 10% of toxic emissions. However, the adverse effects of climate change disproportionately affect the poor and exacerbate existing problems of hunger and malnutrition.”

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