In a historic letter to the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis calls for a renewed stewardship and common care about “Sister Earth” and lambasts the global economic system for not prioritising people and the planet over profits. In a historic letter to the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis calls for a renewed stewardship and common care about “Sister Earth” and lambasts the global economic system for not prioritising people and the planet over profits. The primate of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholic Christians focused his much awaited 24 May encyclical on human responsibility for “what is happening to our common home”, stressing that climate change, pollution, waste and the “throwaway culture” require an urgent policy response.
“189. Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life. Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and only apparent recovery. The financial crisis of 2007-08 provided an opportunity to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices and virtual wealth. But the response to the crisis did not include rethinking the outdated criteria which continue to rule the world. Production is not always rational, and is usually tied to economic variables which assign to products a value that does not necessarily correspond to their real worth. This frequently leads to an overproduction of some commodities, with unnecessary impact on the environment and with negative results on regional economies. The financial bubble also tends to be a productive bubble. The problem of the real economy is not confronted with vigour, yet it is the real economy which makes diversification and improvement in production possible, helps companies to function well, and enables small and medium businesses to develop and create employment.”
“Faced with this challenge to nature and the human family, we must respect our common home and use it judiciously and with justice. Only by rediscovering our solidarity with each other, cutting waste and adopting sustainable consumption and production patterns, can we save the planet, its vibrant diversity of life and ensure a prosperous future for us all.”, commented WWF’s international President Yolanda Kakabadse, praising Pope Francis for his “much needed moral approach to climate change.