Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Pope on COP15

pope In his role as Sovereign of Vatican City, the Pope gives a speech to ambassadors each year to indicate the positions the state holds on various topics. In this year’s speech, Pope Benedict made it clear he was unhappy with the result of COP15:

Speaking in French, he said he shared "the growing concern caused by economic and political resistance to combating the degradation of the environment." The pope expressed the hope that an agreement would be reached to effectively deal with this question before the end of the year.

The President of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, went considerably further:

However, he said that, when applied to environmental issues, nihilism produces "even more serious damage." In this case it leads to the attempt "to solve climate problems - where much confusion reigns - through lowering the birth rate and de-industrialization, rather than through the promotion of values that lead the individual to his original dignity."

We’re not sure this is directly responsive to the conference as it is a fear as to how it could proceed when it reconvenes in Mexico City (as COP16) in December. And even then, it seems a broad stretch. But it’s a fair comment if this were to be the direction of the talks and worth raising as an objection.

Vatican City is not part of the European Union but is a member of the United Nations; it does send representatives to the COP conferences.

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We really like this quote from Pope Benedict during his World Day of Peace speech:

Man's inhumanity to man has given rise to numerous threats to peace and to authentic and integral human development -- wars, international and regional conflicts, acts of terrorism, and violations of human rights. Yet no less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect -- if not downright misuse -- of the earth and the natural goods that God has given us.

A different angle on the issue of climate change, but a very valuable one.

Pope Benedict XVI.

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