Restoring the Earth’s climate to pre-Industrial Revolution levels is a major challenge for technology and of lifestyles
New York – Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention at the First Annual Global Climate Restoration Forum, which took place at UN Headquarters in New York on September 17, 2019.
In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that the goal of climate restoration — to return the Earth’s climate to its condition before the start of the Industrial Revolution is important as it — is “more ambitious” than the “mitigation and adaptation” measures described by UN documents.
Excerpt of his speech: “In the fight against climate change, we hear a lot about mitigation and adaptation, but not about climate restoration. I have learned that climate restoration seeks to return the Earth’s climate within one or two generations to its condition before the start of the Industrial Revolution. That is a much more ambitious objective than mitigation and adaptation, whose common objective “is to achieve… stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” (UNFCCC, Art. 2).
Yet, in spite of its great promise, the term “climate restoration” is not found either in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or in the Paris Agreement.
This lack of reference to climate restoration in the most important climate change documents leaves one to ask where climate restoration fits into the overall effort to fight climate change. I believe this is the primary task of our experts and panelists this afternoon. They will seek to help us understand, and convince the doubters, why climate restoration should be considered as an important component in the fight against climate change, or, why, indeed, do we need to restore the earth climate’s conditions to pre-industrial levels.
The Permanent Representative of the Holy See noted that climate restoration is a major challenge to technology. “Besides the promise it holds as a valid approach in itself in the fight against climate change, the innovation it could bring may also contribute to more efficient mitigation and adaptation measures,” Bishop Auza said.
He reiterated the advocacy of the Holy See and Catholic Church to care for our common home and said that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is not just a technological issue but a question of human behavior and lifestyles. (A Press Release from the Holy See Representative to the UN)