In a series of messages to start 2022, Pope Francis renewed his call for the international community to “discover and implement common solutions” to tackle the biodiversity crisis and climate emergency in the new year.
Speaking to the Holy See Diplomatic Corps earlier this week, Pope Francis said that migration, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the climate crisis have “clearly demonstrated that we cannot be saved alone and by ourselves: the great challenges of our time are all global.”
His Holiness recognized that, even after the United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last November, much still needs to be done in order for the world to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. “2022 will be another fundamental year,” he said.
Pope Francis pointed out the “growing collective awareness of the urgent need to care for our common home, which is suffering from the constant and indiscriminate exploitation of its resources.”
He called to mind the Philippines and other Pacific nations that are especially vulnerable to the worsening effects of the climate crisis despite having little to do with the greenhouse gas emissions scientists say are the primary source of the crisis.
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Last month, more than 400 people died in the Philippines from Typhoon Rai, the 15th and deadliest typhoon to strike the Southeast Asian island nation in 2021.
“Precisely this realization should impel the international community as a whole to discover and implement common solutions. None may consider themselves exempt from this effort, since all of us are involved and affected in equal measure,” Pope Francis said.
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To celebrate the 55th World Day of Peace, 1 January 2022, the Holy Father highlighted how the “cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth constantly make themselves heard, pleading for justice and peace.
“The environment, in fact, ‘is on loan to each generation, which must then hand it on to the next.’ We ought to esteem and encourage all those young people who work for a more just world, one that is careful to safeguard the creation entrusted to our stewardship. They go about this with restlessness, enthusiasm and most of all a sense of responsibility before the urgent change of direction required by the challenges emerging from the present ethical and socio-environmental crisis.”
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