Vatican Summit "From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience" Vatican Summit "From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience"  (AFP or licensors)

Global experts and leaders convene for Vatican climate summit

Scientists, regional and local leaders, and experts from universities around the world meet in the Vatican for a Summit entitled, "From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience," promoted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

By Thaddeus Jones

Experts and leaders from around the world are meeting at the Vatican for a Summit looking at the climate crisis affecting the planet with a special focus on how to effectively manage and deal with it. The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences are hosting the three-day Summit entitled, "From Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience."

Sharing ideas and solutions

The meeting from 15 to 17 May brings together experts in the field of climate change together with city mayors and regional government leaders who are dealing with its effects. They come from the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Researchers from universities around the world are also participating. All are contributing their own presentations in the meeting sessions taking place inside Vatican City.

Promoting climate resilience

The Summit participants acknowledge the seriousness of the climate crisis the world is facing and how it will deepen over the next few decades as global warming rises past the 1.5° Celsius danger threshold by the early 2030s. While the increase is expected to peak by the latter half of the century in response to global efforts to lessen the use of heat-trapping pollutants, other areas must be urgently addressed for 'climate resilience.' This concept looks at how humanity can manage, adapt, and survive the extreme effects of climate change for a safer, healthier, more equitable, and sustainable world.

Acting, adapting, managing

The Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the only supranational academy of its kind in the world, has as its mission "to honour pure science wherever it may be found, ensure its freedom and encourage research for the progress of science." In 2022 it started a new initiative on Climate Resilience bringing together researchers, policymakers, and faith leaders to better understand the scientific and societal challenges of climate change and recommend solutions for resilient people and ecosystems. The climate resilience concept is at the core of the three-day summit's discussions that aim to implement a three-point strategy: mitigation efforts to diminish climate risks; adaptation strategies to cope with inevitable risks; and societal transformation that fosters ongoing mitigation and adaptation measures.

Working in solidarity

The Summit participants will focus on related environmental challenges such as, climate change, biodiversity loss, and global inequality, while discussing and proposing solutions and approaches to manage and mitigate the effects of these realities. The Summit's organizers know this requires a multi-disciplinary approach and partnerships involving researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, scientific experts, community and faith leaders, NGOs, and the wider public. 

Adopting a Planetary Climate Resilience protocol

These efforts will culminate at the Summit’s conclusion with a Planetary Climate Resilience protocol signed by all the participants. Like the Montreal Protocol, the document will provide guidelines and actions for climate resilience.  The protocol will then be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be shared with nations worldwide.

Respecting the dignity of human life

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Laudate Deum, Pope Francis, underscored the dangers the world faces due to the impact of climate change, affecting the most vulnerable people especially, as well as the urgent need to work together to address the crisis.

“This is a global social issue and one intimately related to the dignity of human life. The Bishops of the United States have expressed very well this social meaning of our concern about climate change, which goes beyond a merely ecological approach, because 'our care for one another and our care for the earth are intimately bound together.'”

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15 May 2024, 15:16