Pope Francis Urges Urgent Binding Action on Climate Change

The continuous occurrence of unprecedented climate events has propelled the climate crisis to unprecedented levels causing the attention of Pope Francis.

As a result, Pope Francis has raised concerns about the slow progress in climate actions, unfulfilled promises regarding carbon emissions reduction, and vague commitments made during annual climate conferences.

The Pope has expressed worry over the alarming data provided by scientists regarding the increasing global temperatures, which are estimated to rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius. He calls for urgent action and emphasizes the need to turn discussions into tangible results, particularly in terms of a just transition. The Pope highlights that previous conferences, despite preparations for COP28, have failed to deliver significant reductions in the use of fossil fuels.

According to Pope Francis, even a small decrease in global temperature increase, such as a tenth of a degree, would alleviate the suffering of many people. Therefore, a just transition is crucial now more than ever.

The Pope draws attention to the climate crises occurring worldwide and the severe impacts witnessed in Africa. Despite contributing the least to global emissions, the African continent bears the brunt of global warming. Prolonged droughts, flooding, above-normal temperatures, and famine continue to devastate the Horn of Africa.

Pope Francis criticizes international oil and gas companies for their pursuit of Africa’s vast resources, stating that their actions only serve to greenwash their continued exploration. He warns that these efforts risk being seen as mere distractions, rather than genuine attempts to address the climate crisis. The Pope emphasizes the need to recognize the dangerous consequences of our technological advancements, which have the potential to threaten the lives of many beings, including our own survival.

Furthermore, Pope Francis calls on negotiators at COP28 to move beyond vague promises and enact binding and specific policies. He advocates for energy transition measures that are efficient, obligatory, and subject to monitoring. The Pope believes that if we have faith in the ability of humanity to transcend self-interest and think on a larger scale, there is hope that COP28 will lead to a decisive acceleration of the energy transition with effective commitments that are continuously monitored.

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