G7 summit 2017: Cardinal Turkson calls for climate action

24 May 2017

Cardinal Turkson has called for G7 leaders to maintain climate change commitments

Cardinal Turkson has called for G7 leaders to maintain climate change commitments

Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of Pope Francis’s most senior advisers, has warned world leaders meeting for the G7 summit not to withdraw from their commitments to tackle the “global challenge” of climate change.

Heads of government from the G7 nations, including UK Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump, are meeting for the bloc’s annual summit in Sicily, Italy. The leaders are expected to discuss issues such as the changing climate, which is pushing people in the world’s poorest communities deeper into poverty.

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G7 climate change challenge

Cardinal Turkson said:

We face a global challenge

Cardinal Peter Turkson

“I urge all politicians attending the G7 to remember we face a global challenge, that it must be dealt with globally. As they are part of one global family, taking an insular approach will never deliver the solutions we need to challenges like climate change, which don’t respect international borders.”

The Cardinal spoke of the need to for all countries to meet obligations such as those under the Paris Agreement, the historic commitment by nearly 200 countries to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases which are changing the climate.

His Eminence said:

“The world has made so much progress on tackling climate change in recent years, what’s important now is that we hold to on the gains we have made and continue approaching the issue in the spirit of shared cooperation and problem solving.”

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G7 trade discussions must remember poor communities

Cardinal Turkson also reminded G7 leaders to consider the interests of the world’s poorest communities in trade deals. The UK is preparing to negotiate new, post-Brexit trade agreements.

The Ghanaian Cardinal said:

“International trade can be a force for great good, but only when trade policies are focused on people and coupled with ethical principles.

“Any country renegotiating the terms of its trade with the world has the opportunity to do so in a way that delivers favourably for both the country itself and the world’s poorest people. Nobody in a developing country should ever find themselves poorer as a result of globalisation.” 

In 2016, the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Turkson to head the Catholic Church’s social justice body – the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. The Cardinal led the press conference for the release of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment and development, Laudato Si’.

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