By Paschal Norbert
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, NOVEMBER 11, 2022 (CISA) – “We cannot allow for this to happen. Climate change will not wait for us. Our world is now far too interdependent and cannot permit itself to be structured into unsustainable isolated blocks of countries. This is a time for international and intergenerational solidarity. We need to be responsible, courageous and forward-looking not just for ourselves, but for our children,” appealed Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 27, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 8.
In his address, Cardinal Parolin underscored the challenges of “The human face of the climate emergency,” emphasizing that “We have a moral duty to act concretely in order to prevent and respond to the always more frequent and severe humanitarian impacts caused by climate change.”
“The growing phenomenon of migrants being displaced by it is a concerning sign. Even when they lack access to international protection, States cannot leave without tangible solutions, including in the areas of adaptation, mitigation and resilience. Where this is not possible, it is important to recognize migration as a form of adaptation and to increase the availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration,” said the Cardinal Secretary of State.
Cardinal Parolin while reflecting on Pope Francis’ 2021 message at COP 26 held in Glasgow, Scotland: “the wounds inflicted on our human family by the Covid-19 pandemic and the phenomenon of climate change are comparable to those resulting from a global conflict,” warned of the negative global events that risk undermining the success of COP 27.
“Worryingly, we must admit that global events like Covid-19 and the increasing number of conflicts all over the world, with their serious ethical, social and economic consequences, risk undermining global security, exacerbating food insecurity, jeopardizing multilateralism, and even overshadowing our efforts here in Sharm el-Sheikh,” he said.
In highlighting the Holy See’s commitment to the goal of net-zero emissions and dedication to promoting education in integral ecology, Cardinal Parolin admitted that “the road to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement is complex,” and that “COP27 provides us with a further opportunity, which cannot be wasted.”
“It is an opportunity and also a challenge to seriously tackle the four pillars of Paris Agreement: mitigation, adaptation, finance, and loss and damage. These four pillars are interconnected and are a matter of fairness, justice and equity. We should also not neglect the non-economic side of loss and damage, like loss of heritage and cultures. Here we have a lot to learn from indigenous peoples,” implored the cardinal.
The Vatican’s Secretary of State advanced that the Holy See is “even more committed to moving forward on this journey together, for the common good of humanity and especially on behalf of our youth, who are looking to us to care for present and future generations.”
In his speech, Cardinal Parolin also conveyed a message of hope and assured the participants of the Pope’s “closeness, support and encouragement,” for their work at the conference.
The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 27, is taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6 to 18, 2022, in which for the first time, the Vatican is participating as a State Party to both the Convention and the Paris Agreement.