Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin speaks at the COP27 Summit, which opened on Monday in Egypt Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin speaks at the COP27 Summit, which opened on Monday in Egypt  (AFP or licensors)

Cardinal Parolin: COP27 provides opportunity that cannot be wasted

Speaking at the COP27 meeting on climate change, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin highlights the Holy See’s participation as a “state party” to both the Convention and the Paris Agreement, and emphasizes the need for international and intergenerational solidarity to address the challenge of climate change.

By Christopher Wells

Cardinal Pietro Parolin assured participants in the COP27 gathering of Pope Francis’s “ closeness, support, and encouragement” for their work.

He noted that just a few days earlier, in Bahrain, the Holy Father had expressed his hope “that COP27 will be a step forward for ‘concrete and far-sighted choices, undertaken with the younger generations in mind, before it is too late and their future is compromised’.”

After recalling the Holy See’s commitment to reducing net emissions to zero before 2050 and its dedication to promoting education in integral ecology, Cardinal Parolin highlighted the need for “individual and collective conversion” and for “concrete decisions that can no longer be postponed” in response to the crisis of climate change.

The human face of the climate emergency

In particular, he focused on the “human face of the climate emergency,” insisting that “we have a moral duty to act concretely in order to prevent and respond to the always more frequent and severe humanitarian impacts caused by climate change.”

He noted the “concerning sign” of the “growing phenomenon of migrants being displaced by [climate change],” saying States must find “tangible solutions, including in the areas of adaptation, mitigation, and resilience.” Where this is not possible, he said, it is important to “increase the availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration.”

Climate change can’t wait for us

Cardinal Parolin warned of the dangers of global events — such as the pandemic and an increasing number of conflicts around the world — overshadowing the work of the COP27 parties. “We cannot allow this to happen,” he said. “Climate change cannot wait for us.”

He insisted on the need for “international and intergenerational solidarity,” saying, “We must be responsible, courageous, and forward-looking, not just for ourselves but for our children.” Recalling Pope Francis’ message to the previous COP gathering in Glasgow, Cardinal Parolin said, “Our political will should be guided by the awareness that either we win together, or we lose together.”

A further opportunity

The Cardinal acknowledged the complexity of achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and noted that time is growing ever shorter to do so. “COP27 provides us with a further opportunity, which cannot be wasted.”

Concluding his address, Cardinal Parolin noted the Holy See’s increasing commitment “to moving forward on this journey together, for the common good of humanity and especially on behalf of our youth, who are looking to us to care for present and future generations.”

08 November 2022, 16:24