Francis’ message for the World Creation Day that the Church celebrates on September 1. Call in view of the COP27 to be held in Sharm el Sheikh in November 2022: “That the richest countries take more ambitious measures and keep the promises on financial commitments to help the most vulnerable. The delays of others do not justify inaction itself.
Vatican City () – “The state of degradation of our common home deserves the same attention as other global challenges such as serious health crises and armed conflicts”, says Pope Francis in the message for the Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, which by its will the Church celebrates on September 1. The text – entitled “Listen to the voice of creation” – was presented today at the Vatican together with the “Time of Creation”, a special ecumenical month of attention to this theme that will last until the feast of Saint Francis on October 4. .
In his message, Pope Francis invites us to listen to “a choir of bitter cries” that arise today regarding creation. “In the first place -says the text- it is the sister mother earth who cries out. At the mercy of our consumerist excesses, she groans and pleads with us to stop our abuse and destruction.” The “innumerable species that are becoming extinct” cry out, victims of what the pontiff -taking up the encyclical Laudato Sì- defines as a “despotic anthropocentrism”. But they also shout “the poorest among us” who, “exposed to the climate crisis, are those who suffer the most from the impact of droughts, floods, hurricanes and heat waves, which continue to be more intense and frequent. ”. And then the original peoples, whose lands are being “invaded and devastated on all sides by predatory economic interests”, as well as the young people who “anxiously ask us adults to do everything possible to avoid or at least limit the collapse of the ecosystems of our planet.
Hearing these cries – says the Pope – “we must repent and change harmful lifestyles and systems”. Because the evangelical call to conversion “also implies a different relationship with others and with creation.” A conversion – the pontiff clarifies – that is not only personal but also communal.
In this sense, Pope Francis invites you to take into account the upcoming meetings promoted by the United Nations on environmental issues, starting with COP27, the climate conference to be held in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt in November 2022. Recalling Vatican’s recent formal adherence to the Paris Agreement, the pontiff states that “achieving the Paris target of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C is quite a challenge and requires the responsible cooperation of all countries to present plans more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero as urgently as possible. “At the base of everything – he continues – must be the alliance between the human being and the environment that, for us believers, is a mirror of the “creative love of God, from which we come and towards which we walk”.
Francis also cites the Cop15 summit on biodiversity, to be held in Canada in December: “To stop further collapse of the ‘web of life’, biodiversity, that God has given us, we pray and invite nations to agree on four fundamental principles: 1-build a clear ethical foundation for the transformation we need to save biodiversity; 2-fight against biodiversity loss; 3-promote global solidarity; 4-put communities at the center people in vulnerable situations”.
Finally, remember that there is an “ecological debt of the economically richest nations, which are the ones that have polluted the most in the last two centuries”, Pope Francis asks them to “take more ambitious measures both at COP27 and at COP15” : with “decisive action within its borders”, but also “keeping its promises of financial and technical support to the economically poorest countries, which are already bearing the brunt of the climate crisis”. It also suggests “more financial aid for the conservation of biodiversity”. But he clarifies that the less economically rich countries are not exempt from important responsibilities: “the delays of others – he concludes – can never justify their own inaction. We must all act decisively”.