Vatican to Host Workshop on Health of People and Planet

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) will host a workshop November 2-4, 2017 to discuss the relationship between climate change, pollution and people. The event will take place at The Academy’s headquarters are in the Casina Pio IV, in Vatican City.


According to the Academy website: “We are assembling a meeting of global thought leaders in all these areas, with emphasis on human health to consider the latest evidence and make recommendations to be submitted directly to Pope Francis and other world leaders for further actions. Experts spanning medicine, public health, air pollution, marine pollution, climate change, food and water security, ecology, species extinction, renewable energy, and policy should be included. The first two days will be devoted to a detailed assessment of the health of people and the ecosystem. We will document and diagnose the health impacts of fossil fuel combustion and the resulting climate change. The final day of the meeting will be devoted to seeking solutions and will end with a call for actions by policy makers and political leaders.”

The November session will build on the findings from a similar meeting in 2015, stated in the document Climate Change and the Common Good. That meeting reached the following conclusion:

“This century is on course to witness unprecedented environmental changes. In particular, the projected climate changes or, more appropriately, climate disruptions, when coupled with ongoing massive species extinctions and the destruction of ecosystems, will doubtless leave their indelible marks on both humanity and nature. As early as 2100, there will be a non-negligible probability of irreversible and catastrophic climate impacts that may last over thousands of years, raising the existential question of whether civilization as we know it can be extended beyond this century. Only a radical change in our attitude towards Creation and towards our fellow humans, complemented by transformative technological innovations, could reverse the dangerous trends that have already been set into motion inadvertently.”

The meeting will discuss social justice and ethical issues as urged by Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato si’:

“We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”



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