First U.N. climate summit with Holy See as a member state closes in Egypt

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The COP27 U.N. climate change summit has come to a close in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with an agreement to a establish a fund for poor nations vulnerable to the effects of climate change paid for by wealthy countries.

For the first time, the Holy See participated in the annual conference as a formal party to the U.N. body that oversees negotiations on climate issues. The Holy See also acceded to the 2015 Paris agreement in October to give its “moral support” to states “responding to the challenges poised by climate change to humanity and our common home.”

In his remarks during the world leaders' summit at COP27, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the Holy See's participation as a state body, rather than an observer, and demonstrates the Vatican's commitment to combating climate change by playing a more active role in international cooperation. 

Vatican Secretary of State

Climate change will not wait for us. Our world is now far too interdependent and cannot permit itself to be structured into unsustainable isolated blocks of countries.
Our political will should be guided by the awareness that either we win together or we lose together.

During the summit, Pope Francis expressed his hope that the summit's outcome would put countries on track to maintain their commitment in the Paris Agreement to stop global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

I hope that steps will be taken forward, with courage and determination, in the path laid out by the Paris Agreement.

Critics of the summit's final decision say not enough concrete action was agreed upon to slash global emissions, as war and supply chain issues have pushed countries to further depend coal for energy.

Still, the agreement to establish a fund for vulnerable countries marks a breakthrough in climate negotiations. It is the first time the industrialized world will provide compensation for the costs of deadly storms, heat waves, and droughts linked to the effects of climate change.


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