On Wednesday, Pope Francis delivered some of his most strong remarks on climate change, blasting fossil fuel companies and urging for a global move to renewable energy.
The pope blasts oil and gas companies for “greenwashing” new fossil fuel projects in a new letter titled “Laudate Deum,” or “Praise God,” and asks the West to do more to confront the climate calamity. In his historic apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis says that “avoiding an increase of a tenth of a degree in the global temperature would already suffice to alleviate some suffering for many people.”
Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si'” criticized global exploitation and framed environmental protection as a moral imperative; “Laudate Deum” is a follow-up to that encyclical. When it was first released, “Laudato Si'” was viewed as an extraordinary gesture by the Pope to address the implications of climate change.
After nearly a decade, the pope’s message has taken on new weight.
In Laudate Dominum, Francis laments that the “necessary transition towards clean energy sources like wind and solar energy, and the abandonment of fossil fuels, is not progressing at the necessary speed.”
The Pope did not shy away from blaming the oil and gas business, emphasizing that further fossil fuel exploration only exacerbates the climate crisis. His remarks resound throughout the piece: “[W]hatever is done risks being seen only as a ploy to distract attention.”
Francis criticizes Western policy policies as impeding fast action on climate change. His case for more country action is that “a broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle associated with the Western model would have a significant long-term impact.”
The Pope also references the COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held from November 30th to December 12th in the United Arab Emirates.
Because of its role as a major oil exporter, several activists fear that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would be a weak host country.
In his “Laudate Deum,” Francis praises the fossil fuel industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), saying that “gas and oil companies are planning new projects there, with the aim of further increasing their production.”
The Pope stated his hope that COP28 will result in “binding forms of energy transition that meet three conditions: that they be efficient, obligatory, and readily monitored.”
In recent years, Pope Francis has been outspoken about the need for quick action on climate change. He congratulated the 2021 attendees for their insight and asked them to continue working “for the good of humanity.”
You have been said to symbolize the future, but in this case, you have already arrived. He stated, “Right now, in this moment, it is you who are creating the future.”