Pope Francis’ Message to COP28

Posted December 13, 2023

This year’s UN climate change summit, COP28, is not only a gathering of world leaders and environmental experts, but also a platform for a powerful moral message from Pope Francis. 

Although unable to attend in person due his recovery from a recent illness, Pope Francis’ statement, which was delivered by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, echoed the values expressed in Laudato Si’ and Laudate Deum.


Read Pope Francis’ statement to COP28


Pope Francis reminded us that “the destruction of the environment is an offense against God, a sin that endangers all human beings, especially the most vulnerable” and emphasized the importance of addressing climate change as “a global social issue intimately related to the dignity of human life.” 

Addressing the root causes of climate change, the Pope highlighted the destructive nature of unbridled consumption and production, calling us to “once more recognize our limits, with humility and courage, as the sole path to a life of authentic fulfillment.”

Pope Francis also critiqued the divisions and national interests that hinder progress in international negotiations, urging us to “emerge from the narrowness of self-interest and nationalism; these are approaches belonging to the past.”

Importantly, the Pope dispelled myths blaming the poor for climate change, “since the almost half of our world that is more needy is responsible for scarcely 10% of toxic emissions.” This reinforces our commitment to “be attentive to the cry of the earth … [and] hear the plea of the poor!”

His vision of an ecological conversion, where cultural changes accompany “policies that can provide concrete and cohesive responses,” remains a cornerstone of our collective efforts through the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

Pope Francis’ message at COP28 is a powerful reminder of our responsibility to care for our planet and each other. 

His words inspire and challenge us to deepen our commitment to the Laudato Si’ Goals and to create Laudato Si’ Plans, through which, “with God’s help, [we can] emerge from the dark night of wars and environmental devastation in order to turn our common future into the dawn of a new and radiant day.”