Pope Benedict XVI sent a video message to participants in the UN summit on climate change held in New York on 22 September 2009.
“The Earth is indeed a precious gift of the Creator Who, in designing its intrinsic order, has given us guidelines that assist us as stewards of His creation…natural environment is given by God to everyone, and our use of it entails a personal responsibility towards humanity as a whole, particularly towards the poor and towards future generations.
“The economic and social costs of using up shared resources must be recognized with transparency and borne by those who incur them, and not by other peoples or future generations.”
“The protection of the environment, and the safeguarding of resources and of the climate, oblige all leaders to act jointly, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the world.”
“Together we can build an integral human development beneficial for all peoples, present and future, a development inspired by the values of charity in truth”.
“For this to happen it is essential that the current model of global development be transformed through a greater, and shared, acceptance of responsibility for creation: this is demanded not only by environmental factors, but also by the scandal of hunger and human misery”.
He concluded by inviting the participants “to enter into their discussions constructively and with generous courage…to exercise responsible stewardship of creation, to use resources in such a way that every individual and community can live with dignity and to develop that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God” (VIS).
Source: Communication from the Bishop (No. 550, 13 October 2009)