In its ongoing climate crusade, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano echoed dire warnings in its weekend edition that the present generation may be the last to be able to battle global warming effectively.

“Climate change is the key challenge of our time. Our generation is the first to experience the rapid increase in temperatures all over the world and probably the last that can effectively combat the imminent global climate crisis,” the Vatican paper declares, citing a joint declaration signed by 16 heads of state of European countries prior to the U.N. climate conference, Cop24, to be held in Katowice, Poland, from December 3 to 14.

Moving far beyond traditional Catholic moral teaching, the bishops hazarded to say that people have “a moral duty to keep global warming to well below 2°C above pre‐industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre‐industrial levels.”

“As we know, everyone is affected by the climate crisis,” the prelates declared preemptively. “Yet the effects of climate change are not evenly distributed. It is the poor who suffer most from the ravages of global warming.”

The bishops also offered their prediction that “many millions of migrants” will be forced to leave their homes and migrate to other places “that may or may not prove welcoming.”


A fair and just ecological transition, as required by the Paris Agreement, “is a matter of life or death,” the bishops warned.

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