The Encyclical about the care for the Earth, presented on June 18th by the Pope, addresses all people, as our environment is in a deplorable state. Urgency is needed, Pope Francis says, because denying climate change has already caused enough damage. In the encyclical, the Pope urges world leaders to take action to prevent an ecological crisis.
“Pope Francis took crucial leadership today,” says Simone Filippini, Cordaid CEO, “His message about ‘Care for our Common Home’ connects people around the world. From corporate boardrooms, to political leaders and civil society organizations: this is a clear message to finally walk our talk. It is a message to be taken seriously, especially during the upcoming climate conference in December in Paris, and the event in Addis Ababa for financing the Sustainable Development Goals.”
‘The poorest people in the world are hit hardest by the consequences of climate change, although they are not the ones responsible for it’
The world’s poorest
Cordaid and partners from the Catholic networks Caritas and CIDSE, are content that the papal message connects climate change to ever increasing poverty and exclusion in the world. “Cordaid supports the victims of irresponsible leadership around the world. The poorest people in the world are hit hardest by the consequences of climate change, although they are not the ones responsible for it,” Simone Filippini concludes.
‘We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it’
The whole encyclical is filled with a sense of urgency to change our behavior and treat our planet differently. People can no longer allow themselves to exploit natural resources merely for financial gain. People do not just own nature; humans are part of it, the Encyclical states: “nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.”
If you notice how the amount and the scale of climate related natural disasters have increased in recent years, the Pope is right to make climate change the main priority and to tell the whole world to take responsibility and to care for our fellowmen and for the Earth,” Simone Filippini says.
Active lobby on climate
Together with CIDSE, the Partners for Resilience collaboration and other international networks, Cordaid has been actively lobbying on climate for many years. Moreover, with our colleagues in Caritas, as well as non-religious partners, we have been helping communities in countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Guatemala, Bangladesh and South Sudan to adapt to the impact of climate change.
Cordaid collected (online) reactions to the Encyclical on the day of its presentation: