Do we have to choose between economic development and protecting the Creation that God has entrusted to us? Why choose Dubai as the venue for the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference? Given that Dubai is the 7th country in the world in terms of oil protection and the 7th in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
As we already know, “fossil fuels still provide 80% of the world’s energy and their use continues to increase” (LD 50), while “the necessary transition to clean energies such as wind and solar power, abandoning fossil fuels, is not happening fast enough.” (LD 55)
Why is this so?
Laudate Deum gives us some clues as to why: “The climate crisis is not really a subject of interest to the major economic powers, which are anxious to make the greatest profit at the lowest possible cost and in the shortest possible time.” (LD 13) The world is seen as a resource to be exploited, in a “way of understanding life and human activity that has deviated and contradicts reality to the point of harming it.” (LD 20) The summits that follow one another and the texts that are signed do not lead to concrete changes because “international negotiations cannot make significant progress because of the position of countries that put their national interests above the general common good.” (LD52).
Several mechanisms tend to block decisions, by inducing doubt about the reality of the climate crisis, by falling into “irresponsible mockery that presents this subject as solely environmental, ‘green’, romantic, often ridiculed by economic interests” when “it is a human and social problem with multiple aspects”. (LD 58) Furthermore, “the ethical decay of real power is disguised by marketing and false information, which are useful mechanisms in the hands of those with more resources to influence public opinion.” (LD 29).
What can we do about it?
Individually, we feel powerless, but together we can really have an impact. “The demands that emerge from below all over the world, where activists from the most diverse countries help and accompany each other, can end up putting pressure on the factors of power.” (LD38)
We can act. Yes, we can, through small, concrete, daily gestures and through a personal or collective commitment to prayer.
Suggested prayer text:
“Lord, we give you thanks and allow ourselves to be transformed
by the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
Send your Spirit to the leaders of oil companies such as (name of an official),
so that they put a stop to new fossil fuel extraction projects.
O Holy Spirit, inspire all the shareholders of the companies concerned
and transform their hearts to stop these projects.
God, send your Spirit to (name of manager)
so that (name of company) stops its strategy of expanding into fossil fuels
and redirect all its investments towards a genuine energy transition”.
- Pray alone or in community, and make heard our call for COP28 to lead to “a marked acceleration of the energy transition, with effective commitments that can be monitored on an ongoing basis”. (LD54).
- Take action: join thousands of Catholics by signing the Manifesto calling for a shift away from fossil fuels by clicking on this link: https://laudatosimovement.org/cop28/