Pope Francis: “The world is falling apart”

A few weeks before the start of a new round of UN climate talks (COP28) in Dubai, the Pope Francisco demanded adopting a “binding” energy transition. The Supreme Pontiff spoke through the “Laudate Deum”, an apostolic exhortation published eight years after his encyclical on ecology “Laudato Sí”.

“With the passage of time I notice that we do not have enough reactions while the world that welcomes us is crumbling and perhaps approaching a breaking point,” said the 86-year-old Argentine Jesuit, through a 12-page text, written in Spanish and translated into several languages.

In the “Laudate Deum” (praise God, in Latin), the highest authority of the Catholic Church called for taking advantage of the event in Dubai in a way that yields “effective commitments” and attacked people who, in recent years, and even within the Catholic Church, “they tried to mock” the confirmation of the damage caused by warming, due to droughts, floods and typhoons.

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“If there is a sincere interest in making COP28 historic (…), we can only expect binding forms of energy transition that have three characteristics: that they are efficient, that they are mandatory and that they can be easily monitored,” Francisco highlighted.

The publication coincided with the opening in Rome of the Synod of Bishops, which for four weeks will examine hot topics in the Catholic Church such as the place of women and LGBTQ believers in the institution.

What is COP28

The COP has met every year since 1995. In 2022, the climate summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, reached a historic agreement: the creation of a loss and damage fund to deal with the blows suffered by most vulnerable populations in the face of climate change.

The 2023 event will begin on November 30 and end on December 12 in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, a large producer of hydrocarbons, whose choice was criticized by environmentalists.

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Governments from different countries, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, media and observers will participate in the summit. More than 80,000 delegates are expected at COP28.

Pope Francis in Portugal

“Suicidal pragmatism”

The Supreme Pontiff took the side of mitigation and considered that “the transition that is needed, towards clean energies such as wind and solar, abandoning fossil fuels, does not have the necessary speed.”

In this sense, the bishop of Rome warned: “We run the risk of remaining locked in the logic of patching, patching, tying with wire, while under the surface a process of deterioration advances that we continue to feed.”

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“Assuming that any future problem can be solved with new technical interventions is homicidal pragmatism, like kicking a snowball forward,” argued the Argentine pope, who in the process encouraged a multilateralism “from below”, in which the ” fighters from the most diverse countries “put pressure” on the power factors.

It is not the first time that Francisco has expressed himself in favor of environmental awareness. In 2015, he achieved the historic Paris Agreement, where the international community agreed to limit global warming to 1.5ºC compared to the pre-industrial era.


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