Monsignor Pietro Parolin, the Under-Secretary for Relations with States, delivered a speech to the UN stressing that "everyone, without exception, has a grave responsibility to protect the environment."
The 62nd session of the UN General Assembly met to discuss the theme, “the future is in our hands: addressing the leadership challenge of climate change.” Monsignor Parolin underscored that his “delegation wishes to stress the importance of environmental protection and the unification of the international community to “foster a healthy environment”.
He confirmed that scientists appear to have established a clear correlation between human activity and climate change, but cautioned that these results and remaining uncertainties “should neither be exaggerated nor minimized in the name of politics, ideologies or self- interest. Rather, they now need to be studied closely in order to give a sound basis for raising awareness and making effective policy decisions.”
The monsignor identified two attitudes that are particularly harmful to creation and humanity: The first is the “fundamentally reckless” approach in which people say, “we should actually exploit our world to the full, with little or no heed to the consequences, using a world view supposedly based on faith." The second approach is to treat the earth as the only good, and characterize[s] humanity as an irredeemable threat to the earth, whose population and activity need to be controlled by various drastic means.
He was also careful to mention that while there are these two points of view, “similar, though less extreme attitudes, also can clearly impede any sound global attempts to promote mitigation, adaptation, resilience and the safeguarding of our common future.”
“States are free to adopt international conventions and treaties, but unless our words are matched with effective action and accountability, we would do little to avert a bleak future and may find ourselves gathering again not too long from now to lament another collective failure," said Msrg. Parolin.