A Vatican official this week stressed the need for “international and intergenerational solidarity” to address the challenges brought about by climate change.
“We must be responsible, courageous, and forward-looking, not just for ourselves but for our children,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, told the UN climate summit in Egypt this week.
Recalling Pope Francis’ message to the previous meeting in Glasgow, the cardinal said, “Our political will should be guided by the awareness that either we win together, or we lose together.”
Cardinal Parolin assured participants in the COP27 gathering of Pope Francis’s “closeness, support, and encouragement” for their work.
He noted that in Bahrain last week, the pope expressed his hope “that COP27 will be a step forward for ‘concrete and far-sighted choices, undertaken with the younger generations in mind, before it is too late and their future is compromised.’”
In his speech, Cardinal Parolin highlighted the need for “individual and collective conversion” and for “concrete decisions that can no longer be postponed” in response to the crisis of climate change.
“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,” said the Vatican official.
He noted the “concerning sign” of the “growing phenomenon of migrants being displaced by [climate change],” saying countries must find “tangible solutions, including in the areas of adaptation, mitigation, and resilience.”
He stressed the importance of increasing “the availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration.”
Cardinal Parolin warned of the dangers of global events — such as the pandemic and an increasing number of conflicts around the world — overshadowing the work of the COP27 parties.
“We cannot allow this to happen,” he said, adding that “climate change cannot wait for us.”
The cardinal acknowledged the complexity of achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and noted that time is growing ever shorter to do so.
“COP27 provides us with a further opportunity, which cannot be wasted,” he said.
He reiterated the Holy See’s increasing commitment “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.”