Dicastery to Study Global Warming

Experts Will Consider Development and Climate Change

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 24, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace is hosting an international study seminar to search for solutions to the phenomenon of global warming.



"Climate Change and Development" is the title of the conference, which will be held this Thursday and Friday.

The conference will respond to "the voice of ecological concern raised by the U.N. Security Council in recent days, after a report by environment experts," the dicastery said.

According to the experts' judgment, a dicastery statement explained, "global warming may bring about not only the imposition of drastic corrective means to protect the natural environment, but also a grave threat that destabilizes the world."

"On the other hand," the Vatican council added, "the development of underdeveloped countries, besides being an unavoidable necessity of social justice, is 'the new name of peace,' as Paul VI's 'Populorum Progressio' said in a well-known expression."

Scientific, economic, political and pastoral experts will convene for the conference and address such questions as: "What is the relationship between climate change and development?"; "What are the economic, social and energy implications of such changes?"; and "What are the various national and international responsibilities derived from these changes?"

Four themes

There will be four work sessions. The first will identify the situations related to climate change and their causes. Laurent Stefanini, the French ambassador for environment; Antonio Zichichi, an Italian physicist; and David Miliband, U.K. secretary of state for environment, who will present strategies used in Britain to deal with global warming.

The second session, regarding climate change and sustainable development, will include interventions from Craig Idso, an American professor and the president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change; and Claudio Rafanelli of the National Council of Research in Rome.

The third session will address climate change and political responsibility. Government leaders from Argentina and Poland will discuss this theme.

Finally, bishops from Germany, England and Australia and a representative from the World Council of Churches will address climate change and pastoral duties.

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, will open and close the work sessions.