Young people’s intensified demand for climate action is a sign of hope during the planet’s ecological crisis, said Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
“There are so many signs of hope. God is raising up people around the world to come together to care for our common home. I am happy to note the role of young people in this journey,” the Ghanaian cardinal said on 15th July in a speech delivered by Fr Bruno Duffe, secretary of the dicastery, at a conference marking the fifth anniversary of the Catholic Youth Network on Environment and Sustainability in Africa and the fourth anniversary of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si’.
Cardinal Turkson noted that youth mobilisation against climate challenges had gained strength since August 2018, when Greta Thunberg, the 15-year-old Swedish student-activist, ignited climate strikes. The protests have attracted millions of student worldwide.
The cardinal described climate challenges as complex and multifaceted but said the pressure exerted by the students was being noticed by politicians, whom he said needed to show courage and make the decisions needed to fully implement the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit the global temperature increase.
Cardinal Turkson said young people were the generation most threatened by the climate crisis. Also, they are part of the future generations that stand to inherit a severe damaged planet, if no clear action is taken, he said.
Picture: A woman takes a selfie with a lotus flower at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens National Park in Washington on 13th July 2019. Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, said that the intensified demand for climate action by young people is a sign of hope during the planetary ecological crisis. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn).