Catholic Earthcare highlights Vatican climate change intervention

The director of Catholic Earthcare Australia has said that the recent statement of Vatican UN nuncio Archbishop Celestino Migliore has particular relevance to Australia, given the country's unenviable record of being the world's greatest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases.

CLICK HEREAddressing the General Assembly's Second Committee on the topic of sustainable development, the archbishop said last Thursday: "Without environmental stewardship, development will have no sound foundation, and without development, there will be no means of investment, rendering environmental protection impossible."

He said protection of forests, "which remain essential in terms of food, shelter, fuel, fresh water and fiber to 90 percent of the world's 1.2 billion extreme poor," is a matter of particular concern.

Catholic Earthcare Australia Director Colin Brown said it is "heartening" to read Archbishop Migliore's words.

"The Archbishop, in stressing the Vatican's concern for the widespread and irreparable environmental damage being done to Earth's finite ecosystems and the shocking suffering that millions endure on a daily basis is following faithfully in the footsteps of the late Pope John Paul 11," he said, pointing out that it was Pope John Paul II who called for the urgent 'ecological conversion' of the world's Catholics, in 2001.

He said that the Archbishop's call for 'the further development of renewable energy sources' and the phasing out 'of fossil fuel use and development' takes Pope John Paul 11's sustainability credo a highly significant step forward.

"Obviously, the Vatican have studied very closely the findings of the UN's Millenium Ecosystems Assessment Report released in May 2005. Compiled by some 1360 scientific experts from 95 countries which, this Report was the world's first major comprehensive evaluation of the health of Earth's ecosystems. The Report identified over 60% of the planet's sustainable ecosystems were badly degraded or used unsustainably. It is always been the church's mission to hear and respond to the cry of the Earth and its inhabitants- both human and non human.

"We, in Australia are greatly encouraged by the Archbishop's pinpointing the primary reason for the 'grave' phenomenon of human induced climate change and the Vatican's call to governments to ' invest in the research and development of a clean, efficient and cheap replacement for fossil fuels.'"

Next week, Catholic Earthcare Australia hosts its national conference in Canberra over three days (18-20 November).

Vatican UN nuncio environment call speaks to Australia (Catholic Earthcare Australia 10/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Earthcare Australia | Conference

TV weatherman to present at Catholic Earthcare Conference (CathNews 28/10/05)
Catholic Earthcare declares position on uranium (CathNews 18/10/05)

Vatican's U.N. nuncio urges development that saves environment (Catholic News Service 3/11/05)
A Decalogue on Ethics and Environment (Zenit 8/11/05)
Vatican UN envoy calls for development that respects environment (Independent Catholic News 7/11/05)
Vatican envoy prods UN on environmental protection (Catholic World News 4/11/05)
Sustainable Development a Responsibility, Says Vatican (Zenit 4/11/05)
Holy See Statement on Sustainable Development (Zenit 4/11/05)
Australia's next for 'The Pope and the Iceberg' (Independent Catholic News 21/10/05)

10 Nov 2005