MANILA, Oct. 6, 2015– Caritas Internationlis President Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle stressed the need for “political will” as global leaders prepare to meet to sign a new climate change agreement.
At the Paris summit in December, more than 190 countries will discuss a new treaty aimed at curbing global warming.
The cardinal said that implementing measures to mitigate the effects of climate change is key to Paris summit success.
“Success would like first that politicians, the heads of governments, that hopefully in cooperation with business leaders, would have political will to implement policies that would mitigate the effects of climate change, not just find words or rhetoric, but the political will to implement all of those things,” Tagle said.
And a way to effectively do this is by laying down a “mechanism for reviewing and monitoring” on tackling climate change.
The Manila archbishop made the statement in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter following Pope Francis’ speech at the United Nations in New York last Sept. 25.
In the context of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si”, he said that success means a radical conversion of hearts and lifestyles particularly in the grassroots in order to avert disaster brought about by industrialization.
“Without the involvement of the grassroots, I don’t think there will be real success,” said the cardinal from the typhoon-ravaged Philippines.
“All of these things would have to permeate the consciousness of peoples and change will happen there and they will be involved in reviewing economic policies and political policies,” he added.
Aside from scientific findings on what governments need to do on climate change, Tagle said it is also by reaching the grassroots that will ultimately bring about results.
“So models of development proposed by businesses, world monetary organizations and even by governments would be critiqued by the people who are affected by the models of development. They should be involved in proposing models and monitoring them,” he said.
Tagle is one of the first church leaders in Asia to mobilize responses to Pope’s landmark encyclical on the care of creation.
Last July, he started a signature campaign in the Philippines to collect half of the 20 million signatures on a global petition to be delivered to world leaders attending the Paris summit.
The Global Catholic Climate Change Movement petition asks world leaders to adopt a strong and ambitious universal climate treaty to keep global average temperatures within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels.
On Sunday, several priests and nuns marched the streets of Quezon City as they call for “climate justice” along with other faith and civil society groups.
The “eco-walk” was also held to celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of ecology.
“We want to show the Philippines and the entire world how walking together can raise awareness on the environmental issues. This is also preaching like St. Francis,” Franciscan Bro. Angelo Ace Cortez said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)