Pope Francis to COP28 leaders: Move forward and not turn back, history will be grateful to you

Pope Francis to COP28 leaders: Move forward and not turn back, history will be grateful to you

On 11 October 2023, Pope Francis and Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, met with COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber and his delegation at the Vatican.(Photo from CNS Photo/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis, who wanted to visit the climate summit COP28 to address world leaders but cancelled due to health concerns, shared his message on 2 December 2023 through Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State. Ecojesuit shares this excerpt from the address of Pope Francis as he appealed for appropriate and urgent action to the COP28 President, the UN Secretary-General, and the heads of states and governments in COP28.

“Now there is a need to set out anew. May this COP prove to be a turning point, demonstrating a clear and tangible political will that can lead to a decisive acceleration of ecological transition through means that meet three requirements: they must be “efficient, obligatory and readily monitored” (Laudate Deum 59). And achieved in four sectors: energy efficiency; renewable sources; the elimination of fossil fuels; and education in lifestyles that are less dependent on the latter.

“Please, let us move forward and not turn back. It is well-known that various agreements and commitments “have been poorly implemented, due to the lack of suitable mechanisms for oversight, periodic review and penalties in cases of non-compliance.” (Laudato Si’ 167)

“Now is the time no longer to postpone, but to ensure, and not merely to talk about the welfare of your children, your citizens, your countries and our world. You are responsible for crafting policies that can provide concrete and cohesive responses, and in this way demonstrate the nobility of your role and the dignity of the service that you carry out.

“In the end, the purpose of power is to serve. It is useless to cling to an authority that will one day be remembered for its “inability to take action when it was urgent and necessary to do so.” (Laudato Si’ 57) History will be grateful to you.”

The full Address of the Holy Father to the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), 02.12.2023 can be read here.

This article is available in French and Spanish.

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