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Pope prays for climate change conference success

Pope Francis has prayed for the success of the United Nations climate change conference that is currently underway in Paris as the Scottish Government commits new funds to the cause.

The Holy Father (above inset) said that as he follows the work of the conference closely, he was reminded of a question he asked in his recent encyclical Laudato Si’: “What kind of world do we want to pass on to those who come after us, to the children who are growing up?”

The Pope then urged on Sunday that, ‘for the sake of the common home we share and for future generations, every effort should be made, in Paris to mitigate the impact of climate change and, at the same time, to tackle poverty and to let human dignity flourish.’

Let us pray, the Holy Father added, that the Holy Spirit will enlighten all who are called to take such important decisions and give them ‘the courage to always use as their criterion of choice the greater good of the human family.’

The Scottish Government has committed to action on climate change with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcing an extra £12 million will be invested over the next four years to help reduce the impact of climate change on the world’s poorest communities, at the UN global climate change summit in Paris.

The funding will see the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund double in size and allow more support to projects in countries such as Malawi and Zambia. The fund aims to lessen the impacts of climate change on some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

The First Minister addressed international faith groups and NGOs at the UN event and said that ‘the people who have done least to cause climate change are the people who are being hit hardest. The scale of the injustice is massive.’

“We know that the most vulnerable are worst affected by climate change: the very young, the very old, the ill, and the very poor,” she said. “Women are suffering disproportionately, since they are often the main providers of food, fuel and water.

“Now, the first and most important priority in tackling this injustice has to be to address climate change itself. That’s why Scotland backs the case for an ambitious agreement at the Paris summit—one which is capable of limiting temperature increases to below two degrees Celsius.”

Welcoming the increase to the Scottish Government’s increase to its Climate Justice Fund, SCIAF Director Alistair Dutton said: “Climate change is devastating the lives of millions of people in poor countries.

“Increasingly, unpredictable weather means that families who grow their own food no longer know when to plant,” he added. “More frequent and severe flash floods and droughts also wipe out their harvests, leaving already extremely poor families hungry and even poorer.

“We welcome the increase to the Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Fund. It’s a clear recognition that wealthy

industrialised countries like Scotland have a responsibility to help poor countries cope with the huge climate challenges they face. It sets a positive example to other wealthy nations meeting in Paris.”


—This story ran in full in the December 11 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

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