Environmental justice and climate change – International Meeting towards Paris 2015

“We cannot forget the serious social implications of climate change: the poorest will suffer the greatest consequences!”

This is what Pope Francis said during his address to the participants of the international meeting “Environmental Justice and Climate Change” – Towards Paris 2015, promoted by the Sustainable Development Foundation under the Patronage of the Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace and for the Pastoral Assistance for Health Care, in collaboration with Poste Italiane.

Therefore, he added, “the question of climate is a question of justice and also of solidarity, which shall never be separated from justice. Everyone’s dignity is at stake, as people, as communities, as women and men.” “Science and technology put in our hands an unprecedented power” he added, “it is our duty to use it for the common good for the whole of humanity, especially for the poorest and future generations.” Continuing his address, the Holy Father asked Humanity to “finally listen to the cry of the earth, our Mother and Sister, and of the poorest among those that inhabit her” and to look after those who need more help.


“Will our generation succeed in “being remembered for having assumed our responsibilities with generosity?” the Holy Father went on to ask, quoting the Encyclical Laudato Si’, 165. “Among the many contradictions of our time, we have sufficient reason to nurture the hope of succeeding in this. And it is from this hope, that we must allow ourselves to be led.”

The Pope, noting with appreciation the efforts made by those gathered, and remembering the upcoming meeting in Paris on Climate Crisis, exhorted for “a dialogue” that might become a “genuine alliance to be brought to really significant global environmental agreements” and that needs to include “all the parties concerned, also those that remain more easily on the margins of institutional processes”.


The conclusions of the two-day International Meeting have been brought to the attention of the Holy Father by the President of the Sustainable Development Foundation, Mr. Edo Ronchi. He underscored how climate crisis “adds injustice to injustice, inequality to inequality, poverty to poverty” and can only be fought by “overcoming the ‘shrimp race syndrome’, a race meant to be won by those who remain further behind, thinking they can exploit benefits upcoming from greenhouse gases reduction, made by others.” “This is a great challenge”, Edo Ronchi said, “that might become a great opportunity for a fairer world”. 

Pope Francis meets with participants Edo Ronchi and Francis warmly greeted one another




Edo Ronchi - President Sustainable Development Foundation
| opening report |    | slides |
Ismail A. R. El Gizouli - IPCC Acting Chair
| IPCC Fifth Assessment Report - synthesis report |
Nicholas Stern - President Grantham Research Institute
| slides |  | speech |
Jeffrey D. Sachs - Director of the Earth Institute 
| slides |
José Maria Vera Villacian - executive director Oxfam Intemon 
| speech |
Achim Steiner - executive director UNEP
| speech |


Address of the Holy Father Francis to the participants of the international meeting on “Environmental justice and climate change”, organized by the “Sustainable Development Foundation” | link |


For further informations: The international meeting website | Towards Paris 2015