Pope to COP 25: Do not close the window of opportunity

CLIMATE-CHANGE/ACCORD-ARRIVALSCardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin at the COP 25 meeting in Madrid, where he read Pope Francis' message to participants at the convention on climate change. Photo: Vatican News

Pope Francis has sent a message to participants at the United Nations Climate Conference, COP 25, being held in Madrid until 13 December.


By Vatican News

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, read the Pope’s Message at the opening of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP 25.

The Paris Agreement

Pope Francis begins by referring to the December 2015 Climate Conference and its adoption of the Paris agreement to “work together in building our common home”.

Sadly, writes the Pope, after four years, studies show that “the current commitments made by States to mitigate and adapt to climate change are far from those actually needed to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement”.

Words and actions

“They demonstrate how far words are from concrete actions”, writes Pope Francis. While recognizing the growing agreement “on the need to promote processes of transition”, to encourage solidarity, and reinforce the links between climate change and poverty, the Pope says there is “much concern about the ability of these processes to respect the timeline required by science”.

Political will

Pope Francis asks if there is “the political will to allocate with honesty, responsibility and courage, more human, financial and technical resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change”. The Pope confirms the need for a “clear, far-sighted and strong political will”, and calls us “to reflect conscientiously on the significance of our consumption and production models and on the processes of education and awareness to make them consistent with human dignity.” 

Challenge of civilization

In his message, Pope Francis says we are facing a “challenge of civilization” in favour of “the common good and of a change of perspective that places this same dignity at the centre of our action, which is clearly expressed in the “human face” of climate emergencies.” The Pope confirms that there remains a “window of opportunity, but we must not allow it to close”.

Young people

Pope Francis speaks of how young people today “show a heightened sensitivity to the complex problems that arise from this emergency.” We must not place the burden on the next generations to take on the problems caused by the previous ones, he writes.

The Pope concludes wishing we may offer the next generation “concrete reasons to hope and work for a good and dignified future!”


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