Pope Francis is in the process of crafting a new document focused on environmental protection.
During a conversation with lawyers from the Council of European countries on Monday, the Pontiff disclosed his intention to update his existing document on environmental safeguarding. He explained his desire to create an additional segment to his 2015 'green' encyclical, incorporating insights from “current events”.
The document, known as Laudato Si (Praised Be), is recognised for its substantial influence on the decisions reached during the climate conference held in Paris the same year of its publication. This 184-page document cautioned against the “serious consequences for all of us” if things continued as they were, earning Pope Francis praise from numerous climate activists.
However, it also drew criticism from those who vehemently opposed the Pope's alignment with the viewpoint of the majority of scientists, who attributed at least some portion of global warming to human activity.
Although announced at a similar timescale as 2015 with the climate conference due to take place in Saudi Arabia later this year, some climate activists are sceptical the new updated version will have a similar impact.
“This time there isn't a political opportunity,” Paul Bodenham, former Chair of ‘Green Christian’ and co-founder of the Operation Noah campaign, told Premier Christian News.
“Cop28, which is coming up later this year, is likely not to be the kind of breakthrough that we need because of the stranglehold that fossil fuel industries are going to have being based as it is in the United Arab Emirates. And so the timing isn't there, particularly for this one, politically.”
In his comments on Monday, Francis did not specify what form the second part of Laudato Si would take, when it would be released or how it would elaborate on the original. Bodenham hopes he includes the need for “adaption and mitigation”.
“We now have to play the game of adaptation to climate change, as well as mitigating the impacts of the potential future impacts of climate change. That means taking very seriously the global inequality that's being further entrenched by climate change on people who are already poor, [and] already vulnerable to climate disasters and are just really under the cosh now.”