Pope Francis suggested the creation of a global fund, with money used for military expenses, to end hunger and promote sustainable development in the poorest countries in order to combat climate change.
The suggestion was made in a letter delivered to delegates attending the 28th United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP28. The presence of the 86-year-old Pope was confirmed at the event, but was canceled due to lung inflammation.
“How much energy is humanity wasting in the various ongoing wars, as is happening in Israel and Palestine, in Ukraine and in many regions of the earth: conflicts that, instead of solving problems, will increase them! How many resources are wasted on armaments, which destroy lives and ruin our Common Home!”, stated the Pope in a written speech.
“I relaunch a proposal: with the money used on weapons and other military expenses, we set up a Global Fund, to end hunger once and for all and carry out activities that promote the sustainable development of the poorest countries, combating climate change.”
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In his papacy, the pontiff has made an unrestricted defense of the fight against climate change. In 2015, before the summit at which the Paris Agreement was signed, and in 2022, before COP27, Pope Francis wrote two documents drawing the world’s attention to the issue.
“I would like to remember the COP27 climate summit, which is taking place in Egypt. I hope that steps forward will be taken, with courage, determination, on the path outlined by the Paris Agreement”, declared the pontiff in the Angelus prayer, in the Vatican, last year.
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In this Saturday’s speech, Francisco stated that it is “proven that the ongoing climate changes derive from the overheating of the earth, caused mainly by the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused in turn by human activity, which, in recent decades, has become unsustainable for the ecosystem.”
The pope also said that the ambition of the capitalist production model has turned into “unlimited greed”, exploiting the environment in an “unrestrained” way. “The crazy climate sounds like a warning to put an end to such a delusion of omnipotence. With humility and courage, let us once again recognize our limitation as the only road to a fulfilling life,” he said.
COP28 started on November 30th and runs until December 12th. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) spoke at the opening of the work, last Friday (1st). At the time, he regretted that agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015) are not implemented to the letter by all countries.
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“In 2009, when I participated in COP15 in Copenhagen, the architecture of the Climate Convention was on the verge of collapse. Negotiations failed and it took a huge effort to regain trust and reach the Paris Agreement in 2015,” he said.
“Upon returning to the presidency of Brazil, I realize that we are, today, in a similar situation. Failure to fulfill commitments undermines the credibility of the regime. It is necessary to recover the belief in multilateralism”
Editing: Vivian Virissimo