December 7, 2009.
The Vatican is one of the smallest countries in the world. But its set to take a big role at the U.N Climate Change Conference this month in Copenhagen.
Benedict XVI has called for actions that are respectful of creation and that will promote a joint development based on human dignity and for the common good. He also reminded the public that helping fight climate change is everyones responsibility.
Benedicto XVI“The integrity of creation requires the adoption of sober, responsible lifestyles, especially towards the poor and future generations.”
A Vatican delegation that includes environmental and climate change experts will attend, along with Caritas International, the umbrella organization for more than 150 Catholic charities. In anticipation of the conference Caritas released a report on the effects climate change has on the planet. Patrick Nicholson
Caritas Internationalis “I think we no longer have a choice. We either make those changes or we will be living on a planet that can no longer sustain human life.”
According the report, weather related disasters over the past decade jumped by 900%. From floods to hurricanes and droughts. Caritas says extreme weather has displaced people from their homes and is drasticaly hurting food production.
For example, according to the report, the drought in east Africa has more than 20 million people going hungry.
Caritas calls climate change a “global crisis” that’s hurting the poorest communities the most. Patrick Nicholson
“They don’t have the social parachute to save them when disaster strikes, we’re seeing a lot more extreme weather that affects those poor communities, so they are suffering the most and we need to address that at Copenhagen.”
So Caritas is calling on developed countries to commit at least $195 billion dollars to help developing countries cope with global warming.
It also wants to governments to curb greenhouse gas emmissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. And in order to make sure they follow though, the organization is pushing for a legally binding agreement.
Some believe the summit will produce little results. Still, Caritas hopes for the very least, world leaders will get on the same page about the plantes future.