In an event led by eleven Church organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, the perspective of a just energy transition in the continent was analyzed in light of the upcoming Climate Summit, COP 28.

On Thursday, September 7, the 2nd Symposium for the care of the common home entitled “Latin America and the Caribbean on the road to accelerating the just energy transition in terms of integral ecology” was held, led by eleven organizations: the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean, the Latin American Confederation of Religious (CLAR), the International Christian Service of Solidarity with the Peoples of Latin America “Oscar Romero” (SICSAL), the Global Alliance CONVIDA20, the Pan-Amazonian (REPAM), Mesoamerican Ecological (REMAM) and Gran Chaco and Guarani Aquifer (REGCHAG) ecclesial networks, the Churches and Mining and Latin American networks for Economic and Social Justice, supported by the Laudato Si’ Movement.

Gloria Lozada De Jesús delivered an opening prayer and Mons. Lizardo Estacada, auxiliary bishop of Cuzco and Secretary General of the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopal Council (CELAM), offered a welcoming message. Sisters Daniela Cannavina and Liliana Franco, from CLAR, also expressed their message in support of the event.

During the “See” segment, Eduardo Agosta Scarel, O. Carm, Laudato Si’ Movement Advocacy Advisor, spoke about the nine planetary limits of sustainability, which guarantee the habitability of the planet. Among them, biodiversity and climate are the fundamental ones that are at risk, which is why COPs are held.

Later, Horacio Machado of the Regional Institute of Socio-Cultural Studies, spoke about “Re-thinking energy as a vital element and Common Good: the energy transition as a radical ontological-political transformation”. His humanist speech highlighted the importance of “re-educating our ways of life”, since “to commune is also to be part of the energy of each person as a common good.”

During the “Judge” portion of the session, Cardinal Michael Czerny, president of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, gave a speech on the second part of Laudato Si’, the new apostolic exhortation announced by Pope Francis, which will be published on October 4th.

Card. Czerny invited the audience to “prepare” to receive this document: “What issues have arisen in this time that are significantly dangerous and urgent? What is our role? These are not someone else’s problems, they are our problems,” he said, asking each of us, “What can and should we do about them?”

Recalling the words of Pope Francis, he encouraged people to leave “a beautiful and livable world” for future generations, and to help in the “promulgation, acceptance and implementation of the new supplement.” Finally, he said, “There is no doubt that the urgency is at its highest. We ask the Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit to welcome the challenges and walk together in healing our common home.”

Next was the turn of Bishop Adalberto Jimenez, Bishop of Aguarico and President of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network of Ecuador, who spoke about “Energy as a Gift from the heart of the Amazon”; and Jocabed Solano, representative of the Gunadule people in Panama, whose presentation was on “Indigenous Peoples in decision making for a just energy transition”.

Finally, during the “Acting” session, Paz Araya Jeffré, a researcher from Chile, spoke of “What do we mean when we talk about a just energy transition?”; José Oscar Henao, representative of Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean, presented his topic “The climate crisis and the energy transition: challenges and opportunities from new economies and common goods”; and Beverly Keene, representative of the CONVIDA20 Global Alliance, spoke on “Financial Sovereignty for a Just Transition”.

During two concluding sessions, “echoes and resonances” and “final proposals”, participants developed the meeting’s conclusions and next steps, praying that “the resounding voice of the speakers reaches COP 28 and all the authorities that make transcendental decisions that involve life in all its forms.”

The meeting was moderated by Sulman Hincapié Rojas of the CONVIDA20 Global Alliance, and Alirio Cáceres Aguirre, Laudato Si’ Movement Advocacy Assistant. For more information and to learn more about the contents of the event, please visit this link.