Pope's Message to UN Convention on Climate Change

“The time to find global solutions is running out”

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Here is a translation of the Message that Pope Francis sent to the Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Peru, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, on the occasion of the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The convention is being hosted in Lima through Friday. It began Dec. 1.


To His Excellency Mr. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal

Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Peru

and President of the 20th Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention of the United Nations on Climate Change – Lima 


Over the first 12 days of the month of December, 2014, the city of Lima and the people of Peru will have the honor to host the 20th Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention of the United Nations on Climate Change, whose agenda intends to verify the progress of the implementation of that juridical instrument, of crucial content in the present historical moment. Together with my greetings to you, Mr. President, and to all the organizers and participants in that Conference, I wish to express to you my closeness and encouragement, so that the work of these days will be carried out in an open and generous spirit. What you are going to debate affects the whole of humanity, in particular the poorest and future generations. More than that, it is a grave ethical and moral responsibility.

It is significant that the Conference is being held on the coasts adjacent to the Humbolt maritime current, which unites in a symbolic embrace the peoples of America, Oceania and Asia and which has a determinant role in the climate of the whole planet. The consequences of environmental changes, which are already felt in a dramatic way in many States, especially the insular ones of the Pacific, remind us of the gravity of negligence and inaction. The time to find global solutions is running out. We will only be able to find adequate solutions if we act together and in agreement. Hence, there is a clear, definitive and ineluctable ethical impetrative to act.

The effective struggle against global warming will only be possible with a responsible collective answer, that goes beyond particular interests and behavior and is developed free of political and economic pressures. It is only possible with a collective answer that is able to overcome attitudes of mistrust and to promote a culture of solidarity, of encounter and of dialogue able to show the responsibility to protect the planet and the human family.

It is my heartfelt wish that in the Lima Conference, as well as in the subsequent meetings, which will be decisive for the negotiations on climate, there is a dialogue permeated by this culture and by the values that it holds: justice, respect and equity.

With this message, Mr. President and participants in the Conference, I formulate my best wishes that your reflections and initiatives may be fruitful and at the service of all men. At the same time that I pray for your deliberations – that they may be filled with abundant successes, I invoke upon you, and upon all the participants in this significant meeting, the Blessing of the Most High, which I request be extended to all the citizens of the countries that you represent.

Receive, Mr. President, my most attentive and cordial greeting.


Vatican, November 27, 2014

[Original text: Spanish] [Translation by ZENIT]
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