Pope: Don't Pass the Buck on Climate Issue

Addresses UN Summit With Video Message

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 24, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says neither the poor nor future generations should pay the price for current waste of shared resources, and he urged governments to take responsibility for the environment.

The Pope gave this exhortation in a video message taken from a general audience by which he addressed the U.N. summit on climate change this week.

The Tuesday meeting was a lead-up to this December’s event in Copenhagen.

“The Earth is indeed a precious gift of the Creator who, in designing its intrinsic order, has given us guidelines that assist us as stewards of his creation,” the Holy Father affirmed.

He said that the Church considers protecting the environment to be an issue “intimately linked” with integral human development.

The Pontiff added that “the natural environment is given by God to everyone, and so our use of it entails a personal responsibility towards humanity as a whole, particularly towards the poor and towards future generations.”

Right signals

Benedict XVI affirmed that it is important for the international community and governments to “send the right signals” and counter harmful ways of treating the environment.

“The economic and social costs of using up shared resources must be recognized with transparency and borne by those who incur them, and not by other peoples or future generations,” he said.

The Bishop of Rome also affirmed that it “is essential that the current model of global development be transformed through a greater, and shared, acceptance of responsibility for creation: This is demanded not only by environmental factors, but also by the scandal of hunger and human misery.”

Ready to change

According to a summary from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the day-long summit brought assurance that the Copenhagen meeting should ensure five points: “Enhanced action to assist the most vulnerable and the poorest to adapt to the impacts of climate change; ambitious emission reduction targets for industrialized countries; 

“nationally-appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries with the necessary support; significantly scaled-up financial and technological resources; and an equitable governance structure.

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On the Net:

Benedict XVI’s video statement: www.un.org/wcm/content/site/climatechange/pages/2009summit/statements

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