CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 August 2019

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Prioritising profit over people a cause of climate change crisis

VATICAN (CNS): Addressing a Vatican climate change conference titled, Climate Change and New Evidence from Science, Engineering and Policy, for finance ministers from around the world on May 27, the pope said that the current crisis is “caused by a confusion of our moral ledger with our financial ledger.”
 
“We live at a time when profits and losses seem to be more highly valued than lives and deaths, and when a company’s net worth is given precedence over the infinite worth of our human family,” he said.
 
The conference was sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Among the issues discussed during the event was the fulfillment of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, a list of 17 major commitments that the world’s nations and UN agencies will be asked to pursue until 2030.
 
The pope lamented that despite the commitment by world leaders to meet the UN goals, an increase in investments in fossil fuels and a decrease in clean energy investments indicate that “the signs today are not good.”
 
He said, “We continue along old paths because we are trapped by our faulty accounting and by the corruption of vested interests. We still reckon as profit that which threatens our very survival.”
 
Pope Francis said the “effects of global inaction are startling” and cited recent extreme global meteorological events, such as heat waves, droughts, fires and floods, as “a dire premonition of much worse things to come, unless we act and act urgently.”
 
He told the gathering, “It is my prayerful hope that, as stewards of the world’s finances, you will agree upon a common plan that accords with climate science, the latest in clean energy engineering and, above all, the ethics of human dignity.” 

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