Pope Francis says the climate issue is a matter of justice. The Holy Father made this reflection today when speaking to some 300 participants in a meeting promoted by the Foundation for Sustainable Development, titled “Environmental justice and climate change.” Major representatives of religion, politics, economic activity and scientific research in various sectors and international organizations were present.
Founded in 1995, the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) is an international non-profit that “envisions a world where all people have the opportunity and capacity to direct economic, social, and environmental resources toward sustainable outcomes that improve lives and communities.”
In his address, Francis underscored, “We must not forget the grave social consequences of climate change.”
“It is the poorest who suffer the worst consequences. Therefore,” he said, “the issue of climate change is a a matter of justice; it is also a question of solidarity, that must never be separated from justice. … Science and technology place an unprecedented power in our hands: it is our duty to humanity as a whole, and in particular the poorest and future generations, to use it for the common good.”
The Holy Father went on to ask: “Will our generation be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities?”
We are all called upon directly, the Holy Father said, to be responsible and fraternal, and to defend our dignity as people and citizens of the world “by virtue of the role that we occupy in the family, in the world of work, the economy and research, in civil society and in institutions.”
To this end, this dialogue needs to be inspired by “a vision as transparent as it is broad-ranging” and must proceed “according to an integral and above all participatory approach, including all interested parties, including those who more easily remain at the margins of institutional processes,” he said.
The Holy Father exhorted those gathered to do all possible, “so that at the tables in which a solution is sought to the unique and complex socio-environmental crisis the voice of the poorest may be heard” because this too is “a duty of environmental justice.”
“Faced with the emergency of climate change and looking ahead to the crucial appointments scheduled for the coming months – the approval of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations at the end of this month and above all the COP 21 in Paris at the beginning of December – I wish to propose that this dialogue become an authentic alliance leading to truly significant and effective global environmental agreements.”
Along the way, Francis reminded those gathered, you can count on my personal support and that of the Church, “starting with the indispensable contribution of prayer.”
“From now on, I offer to the Lord our joint effort, asking His blessing so that humanity may finally know how to listen to the cry of the land – today our mother earth is among the many excluded who ask for help from Heaven – our mother and our sister, and of the poorest among us who inhabit the earth and care for her. In this way creation will increasingly resemble the common home that the sole Father imagined for us a a gift to the universal family of His creatures,” Pope Francis concluded. (D.C.L.)
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On the NET:
Foundation for Sustainable Development: http://www.fsdinternational.org/