By Jaazeal Jakosalem, ARCORES International’s president
Advancing to protect nature
Pope Francis presents a clear manifestation of his ecological message that as faith communities we need to commit “the world that surrounds us is not an object of exploitation, unbridled use and unlimited ambition” (LD, 25).
Thus, nature must be protected from technological advancement and human greed, he says clearly that “it is not strange that so great a power in such hands is capable of destroying life, while the mentality proper to the technocratic paradigm blinds us and does not permit us to see this extremely grave problem of present-day humanity.” The technocratic paradigm is an archetype found in business, economics, and technological advancement, cultivating a limitless attitude in the hope of unlimited progress.
This paradigm, however, is a purely utilitarian attitude that will entirely exhaust the planet and hasten ecological destruction.
The COP28 Dubai question
The objective intent of the exhortation may appear to give a clear message that the Vatican (with its voting capacity acquired only in the last COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh – 2022, prior to its observer status in the previous Climate conferences) is serious with its call for accountability to make a concrete action on energy transition.
Pope Francis says ‘if there is sincere interest in making COP28 a historic event that honours and ennobles us as human beings, then one can only hope for binding forms of energy transition that meet three conditions: that they be efficient, obligatory and readily monitored.’ (LD, 59)
In many Conference of Parties (COP)meetings in the past, Christian groups and prominently the Catholics@COP have consistently called for just energy transition and detailed ‘loss and damage mechanisms, and yet derided by many lobbyists and negotiators during climate conferences.
Pope Francis has seen positively the protagonists’ role of climate activists and environmentalists in many climate actions. In the Philippines, the ‘Climate Justice Walk’ has started, climate activists making a journey from Manila to Tacloban to pay tribute to all lives impacted by this climate disaster, especially during Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, thereafter the climate pilgrimage will pursue a longer journey to Dubai in time for COP28.