Climate deal must be transformative, papal envoy tells leaders in Paris

IMAGE: CNS/Reuters

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Heads of state discussing carbon
emission limits must create a global and “transformative” agreement
built on justice, solidarity and fairness, a papal representative told the
U.N. climate conference in Paris.

Pope Francis has said “it would be tragic” if special
interests “manipulated information” and won out over the common good,
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said Nov. 30.

The cardinal delivered a speech on behalf of the pope
during the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 Conference of Parties, or COP21, in Paris. The
Vatican released a copy of the speech Dec. 1.

A global agreement must have three interrelated goals in
mind: “alleviate the impact of climate change, fight poverty and let the
dignity of the human person flourish,” the cardinal said in a speech
delivered in French.

A meaningful global pact must be guided by a clear
ethical vision that sees all of humanity as belonging to one human family, and
has “no room for the so-called globalization of indifference,” he
said.

“Given the urgency of a situation that requires the
broadest collaboration possible in order to reach a common plan,” it is
important the agreement recognize everyone’s responsibility to help others and
according to one’s abilities and means.

An agreement must send “clear signals” to governments,
businesses, the scientific community and local communities ton how to adjust or
change their behavior and policies in ways that leads to a low carbon economy
and integral human development, he said.

Finally, the cardinal said, the COP21 endeavor must be
part of an ever-evolving commitment to future generations with constant updates,
follow-up and enforcement.

“It’s necessary to take into serious consideration
the realization of models of sustainable production and consumption and new
behaviors and lifestyles,” he said.

“Technical solutions are necessary but not
enough,” he said, adding that teaching and supporting sustainable
lifestyles are critical. People must become more aware of their responsibility
and that today’s lifestyles based on an unsustainable “culture of waste”
have no place in new models of education and development.

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