Last week Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N., addressed the second committee of the 63rd session of the General Assembly saying that in order to protect the global environment we must review our lifestyle and patterns of consumption.
Addressing the General Assembly, who was focusing on the theme, “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind,” the archbishop affirmed that "not only is there no opposition between the human being and the environment, but there is an established and inseparable alliance.”
The prelate continued by explaining that while the “environment essentially conditions the human being's existence and development,” through their creative activity, people are able to perfect and ennoble the environment.
Our responsibility to protect the climate requires us to focus on the correlation between climate change and food security, the archbishop continued. This is done by emphasizing the “centrality of the human person, in particular on the most vulnerable populations, often located in rural areas of developing countries.”
Moreover, “the responsibility to protect the climate should be based on the alliance between the principles of subsidiarity and global solidarity.” As our world becomes more and more interconnected, “we are witnessing the rapid expansion of a series of challenges in many areas of human life, from food crisis to financial turmoil."
Archbishop Migliore went on to indicate that "it should be borne in mind that the environmental question cannot be considered separately from other issues, like energy and economy, peace and justice, national interests and international solidarity."
Society “cannot respond adequately to the duty connected with the responsibility to protect the environment if it does not seriously review its lifestyle, its patterns of consumption and production,” the prelate concluded. Therefore, we must become educated “in ecological responsibility, based on the fact that many ethical values, fundamental for developing a peaceful society, have a direct relationship to the environmental question."