The Pope calls on the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) to be a “tipping point” towards environmental transformation | Francis had already expressed concerns about the environment in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si.

Pope Francis expressed his concern about the climate crisis and today asked participants at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai to lay the foundations for a “decisive acceleration towards environmental transformation”, amid a critical meteorological situation that the World Meteorological Organization authorities have warned about. (World Meteorological Organization).

“I hope that COP 28 will be a turning point that demonstrates a clear and concrete political will that will lead to a decisive acceleration towards environmental transformation,” the Pope said in a message read by the Vatican’s second-in-command, a cardinal and the Pope’s secretary. State of Pietro Parolin. Bergoglio, who was to attend the climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, had to surrender moments earlier due to bronchitis.

The Pontiff explained that the process must take place through “effective, mandatory, and easy-to-monitor” mechanisms in four main areas that he referred to: “energy efficiency, renewable sources, the elimination of fossil fuels, and education in lifestyles less dependent on the latter.” .

“Please, let us move forward, not backward,” asked Francis, who has made concern for the environment a motto throughout his papacy, having dedicated his encyclical “Laudato Si” to the issue in 2015 – a 200-page statement. Integral Ecology”, and on October 4, the Apostolic Exhortation “Ladate Deum”, which asks the great powers to abandon fossil energies.

His message comes in a critical context, as the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Finnish Petteri Taalas, issued the latest statistics on climate change in 2023, and warned that it is no longer within humanity’s reach to return to the climate of the last century. We must continue to work to prevent the situation from getting worse.

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“We cannot return to the climate of the twentieth century, but we must act now to reduce the risks of a more extreme climate in this century and the next,” the Director said, when commenting on the WMO Interim Report for 2023, presented today. In conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28).

Taalas stressed the need to establish a warning system for extreme weather events, which is estimated to become operational globally in 2027, after the current year once again witnessed floods, heat waves, forest fires and hurricanes that “destroy lives and livelihoods every year.” Today, everyone therefore needs to be protected through early warning services.

In line with this, a document recently published by the climate risk measurement company XDI reported that one in every twelve hospitals in the world is at risk of having to partially or completely close at the end of the century due to this type of extreme weather. Events.

“Our analysis shows that without a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels, global health risks will increase further as thousands of hospitals will be unable to provide services during crises,” said Karl Malone, Director of Science and Technology at XDI.

According to the report, if global warming is not stopped, 16,245 hospitals will be affected by total or partial closure by the end of the century.

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