The director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, asked delegates gathered at the United Nations Climate Change Conference currently taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark, to remember that everyone must assume their responsibility in the area of climate change and focus on its impact on the poor.
Father Lombarid’s editorial this week for Vatican TV’s news program, “'Octava Dies,” is entitled, "Copenhagen and Us."
"For a long time climatic and environmental concerns seemed to many to be a luxury - concerns of the rich."
However, he continued, environmental concerns were also found to have a great impact on the poor.
"When there is drought or when there are environmental disasters, the poor are the first to suffer and die. Those who are in safer places or have more resources to nourish or protect themselves can cope better with the declining environmental conditions," he said.
In this sense, Father Lombardi explained, "We must worry about the health of the planet for everyone's sake, especially for the poor. The planet is like an organism in which imbalances are reflected in each other.” He continued adding that, “the altered composition of the atmosphere, the rise of sea levels, the reduced clean fresh water supplies, changes in rainfall and hurricanes, soil erosion and desertification, damage to agriculture and human health,” all depend “largely on the behavior and choices of humans."
"The Copenhagen conference on climate will be considered a success or a failure based on the commitments of governments, especially those of larger countries. ‘Magic’ figures on reductions of harmful gas emissions and on fundraising will be announced,” but ultimately, “it all depends on the behavior of us inhabitants of the Earth, who are all too accustomed to passing responsibility on to others,” Father Lombardi said.