By Deborah Castellano Lubov

To mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 and the virtual Ambition Summit on Dec. 12, the Ambassadors of the UK, France and Italy held two online events. The events also look forward to the COP26 in Milan, Sept. 28-30, 2021, and in Glasgow, Nov. 1-12, 2021.

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, addressed the Dec. 10 virtual panel on “Facing Climate Change: From Paris to Glasgow via Milan” which focused on the ideas outlined in the film, ‘A Life on Our Planet,’ of which the evening beforehand, the three Embassies hosted a virtual screening.

Cardinal Parolin announced Pope Francis will participate in the virtual Climate Ambition Summit on Dec. 12, 2020.

The Pontiff will emphasize two points, anticipated the Vatican diplomat, the first being “the covenant between human beings” with special attention for the most frail and vulnerable, and the second being “political and technical solutions.”

These solutions, he said, are to promote an education which “encourages, especially among young people, new lifestyles and a new sense of our common humanity, leading to changes in the way we see things.”

Outlining three key elements for ‘breathing life into the Paris Agreement, as awareness, wisdom, and political will,” he noted that wisdom should be seen as “an evaluative lens shaped by broad and constructive ethical insights.”

“The corpus of the Social Doctrine of the Church, with its wisdom born of long experience,” he noted, “can prove most helpful in this regard.”

The panel began with an introduction from French Ambassador, Elizabeth Beton Delegue; British Ambassador, Sally Axworthy, and Italian Ambassador, Pietro Sebastiani, followed by a clip from the film.

Next, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, gave opening remarks in a videomessage.

The event was moderated by Solen De Luca, journalist of Italian channel TV2000. The speakers were Sr Cécile Renouard, Director, Campus for Ecological Transition; Dr Carmody Grey, Assistant Professor of Catholic Theology, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University; Prof. Enrico Giovannini, Spokesman, Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS)

Also representing the Vatican was Sister Alessandra Smerilli, FMA, Dicastery for Integral Human Development, who reminded: “Only by overcoming critical points, vision can turn into action.”

Dr Grey told the webinar that data does not change behavior, but values do, embodied by faiths.

“Faith is indispensable in the fight against climate change. Faith leaders and communities are motivational specialists,” she suggested.

Held in English, French and Italian, the event continued with a Q & A and concluding remarks.

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