Key points to understand the encyclical of Pope Francisco on climate change

Recently the Vatican made an encyclical called “Laudato If”, in which the Pope Francisco recognizes not only the existence of climate change, but its status as one of the most pressing problems humanity must face public. In that sense, it calls to change the current model of production and consumption and the growing need to abandon fossil fuels with cleaner energy sources.

Laudato_si_papa_francescoThe recognition of the “climate and common good” of humanity, and the implications of climate change not only in climate, but in the social, economic, distributional and political, is another important item before the encyclical. As we know, the worst effects of climate change will occur in the coming decades and mainly affect developing countries, however, currently the world’s poor live in areas particularly affected by global warming and rely almost exclusively on economic activities directly linked to the weather.

In the same vein, it is important to emphasize the wake up call that the Pope made on developed countries and their responsibility for creating global warming causing the current climate change and its historical debt on this issue. Moreover, it underlines the importance of international organizations and civil society in the protection of the environment through awareness, critical cooperation and legitimate pressure on governments of different countries to fulfill their duty to protect the environment and natural resources.

Then we mentioned the key messages of the encyclical published by the Vatican:

1. There is a very consistent scientific consensus that we are facing a worrisome warming of the climate system.

2. Humanity is called to become aware of the need for changes in lifestyles, production and consumption, to combat this heating or, at least, the human causes that produce or accentuate.

3.Numerous scientific studies show that most of the global warming of recent decades is due to the high concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, etc.) issued mainly because of human activity.

4. Climate change is a global problem with serious environmental, social, economic, and distributive policies, and poses one of the greatest challenges for humanity. The worst impacts are likely to fall in the coming decades on developing countries.

5. Many of those who have more resources and economic or political power seem to be concentrated mainly in mask problems or mask the symptoms, trying only to reduce some negative impacts of climate change.

6. It has become urgent and imperative for policy development in the coming years the emission of carbon dioxide and other heavily polluting gases is reduced drastically, for example, replacing the use of fossil fuels and developing renewable energy sources.

7.Caring for ecosystems is a look that goes beyond the immediate, because when you only looking for a quick and easy financial gain, nobody really interested in their preservation.

8. It is laudable task of international organizations and civil society organizations sensitizing populations and cooperate critically, also using legitimate means of pressure, so that each government to meet their own and non-delegable duty to preserve the environment and resources nature of his country, without selling spurious local or international interests.

9. The common experience of ordinary life such as scientific research shows that the most serious effects of all environmental insults suffered by the poorest people.

10. The inequality affects not only individuals but entire countries and forces to think about the ethics of international relations.Because there is a real “ecological debt”, particularly between North and South, related to trade imbalances with consequences in the ecological environment as well as the disproportionate use of natural resources historically conducted by some countries.

11. The external debt of poor countries has become an instrument of control, but not so with the ecological debt. In various ways, the people developing, where the most important biosphere reserves, continue to fuel the development of the rich countries at the expense of its present and its future. The land of the poor South is rich and slightly contaminated, but access to ownership of property and resources to meet their basic needs they are forbidden by a system of trade relations and structurally perverse property. It is necessary that developed countries contribute to solving this debt significantly limiting the consumption of non-renewable energy resources and providing the needy to support policies and programs for sustainable development countries.

12.It draws attention to the weakness of the international political reaction. Subjecting politics to technology and finance shown in the failure of world summits on the environment. There are too many interests and very easily reach the economic interest to prevail over the common good and manipulate information for their projects not affected.

13. It is expected that, given the depletion of some resources, you create a favorable scenario for new wars, disguised behind noble claims.

14. Recognize that there were several different visions and ways of thinking about the situation and possible solutions. At one extreme, some argue at all costs the myth of progress and say that ecological problems are simply solved with new technical applications, without ethical considerations or changes in background.

At the other extreme, others understand that the human being, with all its interventions can only be a threat and harm the global ecosystem, which should reduce its presence on the planet and prevent all kinds of intervention.Between these extremes, the discussion should identify possible future scenarios, because there is only one way of solution. This would result in different contributions that could enter into dialogue towards a comprehensive response.

15. The environment is a public good, the heritage of all humanity and responsibility. Who appropriates something is just to administer it for the good of all. If we do, we carry the weight on the conscience of denying the existence of others.

16. Ecological culture can not be reduced to a series of urgent and partial answers to problems that are appearing around environmental degradation, depletion of natural reserves and pollution. It should be a different look, a thought, a policy, an educational program, a lifestyle.

17. Young people are asking us for a change. They wonder how it is possible it seeks to build a better future without thinking about the environmental crisis and the suffering of the excluded.

18. You can not talk about sustainable development without intergenerational solidarity.When we think of the situation on the planet for future generations is left, we enter another logic, that of the free gift we receive and communicate … we are not talking about an optional attitude, but a basic question of justice, since the land we received also belongs to those to come.

19. The forecast of the environmental impact of enterprises and projects requires transparent political processes and subject to dialogue, while corruption, which hides the true environmental impact of a project in exchange for favors, often leads to agreements that prevent spurious inform and discuss widely .

20. There is a general indifference to these tragedies happening now in different parts of the world. The lack of reaction to these dramas of our brothers and sisters is a sign of the loss of that sense of responsibility for our fellow on which every civil society is founded.

Source | CDKN Latin America

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