COP25: Lessons on the Climate Crisis

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Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ

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COP25, the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, took place from 2 to 15 December 2019 in Madrid, a last-minute substitute after Chile withdrew as host due to unrest in its capital city, Santiago, the proposed venue. The Madrid meetings nevertheless proceeded under the presidency of Chile.

This was the fourth such meeting following COP21 in Paris in December 2015. What was the goal of COP25? Was the goal met or even surpassed, or did the meeting fall short?

Pope Francis offered an urgent, comprehensive message to the COP25 participants, addressed to Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s Minister of the Environment and President of COP25.[1] The message was read by the head of the Holy See’s delegation, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State.[2]

We will structure this account of the COP25 proceedings and achievements around the pope’s message.

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