WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Act on climate crisis now: Pope

WelCom July 2019:

Pope Francis and Cardinal Peter Turkson with oil chief executive officers at the conference. Photo: Vatican Media

Many of the world’s leading oil producers announced their support for carbon pricing schemes following Pope Francis’ plea for a ‘radical energy transition’ during a climate summit at the Vatican June 13‒14, on ‘Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home.’

The Vatican joined oil companies, investors and environmentalists in signing a statement endorsing ‘carbon pricing’ and so-called ‘climate disclosures’ to shareholders. Pope Francis, oil giants and others endorsed carbon pricing ‒ usually in the form of taxes or cap-and-trade schemes ‒ at the end of a closed-door meeting at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

During the summit preceding the meeting, Francis had explained to them and other participants that climate change ‘threatens the very future’ of humanity. The ‘doomsday predictions’ can no longer be met with disdain. ‘Time is running out!’ he urged.

‘Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done and concentrate on what needs to be done. We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward, or of prioritising short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires our decisive action, here and now, and the Church is fully committed to playing her part,’ he said.

It was the second private meeting aimed at dialogue with invited executives of leading energy, petroleum and natural gas companies as well as leaders in investment firms. The first meeting with energy executives was in June 2018. Pope Francis thanked participants for returning, saying it was ‘a positive sign of your continued commitment to working together in a spirit of solidarity to promote concrete steps for the care of our planet.

The dialogue was taking place during a ‘critical moment’, he said, because today’s ecological crisis, especially climate change, threatens the very future of the human family, and this is no exaggeration.

‘For too long, we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis and “doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain,”’ he said, citing his encyclical Laudato Si’.

It would be grossly unfair for future generations to inherit ‘a greatly spoiled world’, the Pope said. ‘Pardon me if I want to underline this: They, our children, our grandchildren, should not have to pay, it is not right that they pay the cost of our irresponsibility.’

Vatican News