As the COP28 climate summit gets under way, the Lead Bishop for Environmental Issues, Bishop John Arnold, has reiterated his call for the nations of the world to act:
“Whilst the extreme heat of last summer may be a distant memory for many of us, huge numbers of people around the world have had their lives devastated by climate disasters in the last year or so. Given that the impacts of climate change will only worsen, there is no option but for COP28 to succeed.
“I have recently written to the Prime Minister asking his government to take a real leadership role at the COP28 climate summit. Pope Francis, and our own bishops of England and Wales, have asked political leaders to take decisive action at this summit and create energy transition targets that are efficient, obligatory and readily monitored. They must also consider how such targets can be enforced so that any agreements made at the summit are meaningful.
“Care for God’s creation is intrinsically bound up with care for all our brothers and sisters and, given that climate change will affect poor countries the most, caring for creation can be thought of as an intrinsic part of the ‘preferential option for the poor’.
“Referencing his hopes for COP28, in his recent Angelus address on 26 November, Pope Francis mentioned the tragedies of war and the dangers of climate change. Both, he said, are contrary to God’s plan who created everything for life. The world is becoming more dangerous and fractious, and conflicts are increasing. It is vital, at this time, that the governments of the world overcome their divisions and work to promote real healing as well as effective co-operation to reduce carbon emissions.
“I also ask Catholics in England and Wales to pray for the success of COP28 – that real progress will be made. And I urge people to use the resources provided by our agency CAFOD so that politicians and the general public are made more aware of the urgency of this issue.”
Pope Francis’ encyclical on the Care for our Common Home – environment and human ecology.
Pope Francis’ Exhortation on the global climate crisis.
CBCEW Environment Section
Features the Bishops’ document ‘The Call of Creation’, environment projects, resources and more.