On 6 July 2022 His Excellency Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Permanent Observer to the UN, deposited before the Secretary-General of the United Nations the Instrument with which the Holy See, in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, accesses to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At the earliest possible date, considering the legal requirements of the Paris Agreement, the Holy See, in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, will deposit the instrument of accession to the latter.
With the present instrument, as well as with the following one, to both of which it attached a declaration, the Holy See, in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, intends to contribute and to give its moral support to the efforts of all States to cooperate, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in an effective and appropriate response to the challenges posed by climate change to humanity and to our common home. Such challenges have “not only environmental, but also ethical, social, economic and political relevance, affect[ing] above all the life of the poorest and most fragile. In this way they appeal to our responsibility to promote, through collective and joint commitment, a culture of care, which places human dignity and the common good at the centre” (Pope Francis, Video-Message for the Climate Ambition Summit, 12 December 2020).
In this context, the Holy See recalls Pope Francis’ urgent call “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, § 14).
By answering to the question “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” (Laudato Si’, n. 160), the Holy See wishes that the Convention and the Paris Agreement would help to promote “a remarkable convergence on the urgent need for a change of direction, a decisive resolve to pass from the ‘throwaway culture’ prevalent in our societies to a ‘culture of care’ for our common home and its inhabitants, now and in the future […] Humanity possesses the wherewithal to effect this change, which calls for a genuine conversion, individual as well as communitarian, and a decisive will to set out on this path. It will entail the transition towards a more integral and integrating model of development, based on solidarity and on responsibility” (Pope Francis, Message to UNFCC’s COP26, 29 October 2021). These are two core-values that must be at the basis of the implementation of both the Convention and the Paris Agreement, and which will continue to guide the efforts of the Holy See in this process.