The Advocacy Director of the “Laudato Sì Movement” expresses her hopes for the COP28 Summit on Climate Change in Dubai and speaks of the critical role faith-based groups play in driving responses to the climate crisis based on justice and peace.

In Dubai to bring the voice of the Laudato Sì Movement to the COP28 Summit taking place from 30 November to 12 December, Lindlyn Moma told Vatican Radio that the call for ecological conversion, full sustainability and prophetic advocacy are the crucial issues with which her organization will be contributing to the talks.

This year’s UN Climate Change Summit comes in the wake of a year of record heat and drought and will feature a contentious set of issues for countries working to find common ground in tackling climate change. These include whether to phase out fossil fuels and how to finance the energy transition in developing countries.

In particular, it is set to assess progress towards the 2015 Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the global temperature rise “well below” 2 degrees Celsius while aiming for 1.5 C° and agree on a plan to get the world on track to meet climate goals.

Explaining the role of the Laudato Sì Movement in all of this, the Advocacy Director said the Church has a prophetic role to play for climate and ecological justice.

“I lead our strategic goal of prophetic advocacy, which is to mobilize the church to raise a prophetic voice for climate and ecological justice…” she explained.

Crucial opportunity

Lindlyn Moma underscored the importance of COP28, both taking into account the gap in achieving the Paris Agreement goals and the goal of agreeing on a new plan.

As well as expressing disappointment in the lack of progress on the part of world leaders and decision-makers since the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato sì, and COP15 eight years ago, she decried the increased exploitation of fossil fuels that are intensifying the climate crisis to the continued detriment, especially of the poor.

“Our mission is to inspire and mobilize the Catholic community to care for our common home and to achieve climate and equal justice,” she said.

“Our mission is to inspire and mobilize the Catholic community to care for our common home and to achieve climate and equal justice.”

Fossil fuel non-proliferation

At the heart of the Laudato Sì Movement‘s mission at COP28, Moma explained is the call for bold action.

Now that Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum has been published, she added, “We will be raising the alarm that it is time for leaders to take bold action” and that there is no more room for fossil fuels if we are to achieve the 1.5 degree Celsius goal.

Advocating for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, in alignment with the consensus of international bodies like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency, she stressed the urgency to end fossil fuel exploitation..

“Our main mission,” she said, “is to make the policy arguments and bring to the hearts and minds of leaders that there is no more room for fossil fuel exploitation.”

“There is no more room for fossil fuel exploitation.”

Role of faith-based groups

Moma highlighted the critical role played by faith-based groups at the Summit.

The publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato sì, now his Laudate Deum exhortation, she said, gives faith-based organizations more power to bring a moral consciousness to the climate crisis.

Both documents provide precious moral indications for responsible decisions backed by science, she added, while emphasizing the significance and importance of having voices present at the Summit representing the marginalized and the poor.

“Our voice touches on the policy issue, but it also touches the heart. It brings a moral consciousness to the climate crisis,” she explained.

“Faith-based groups bring the voice of moral consciousness to the climate crisis.”

Main issues on table

Lindlyn Moma listed several pressing issues the Laudato Sì Movement brings to the negotiation table in Dubai, stressing that “There have to be some bold steps for mitigation if we have any hope of keeping this planet, of keeping our common home.”

These are the key questions she outlined:

  • Strengthening Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to address emission gaps and ensure commitments from the most polluting countries.
  • Advocating for a rapid and just phase-out of all fossil fuels across sectors to limit temperature increase.
  • Urging the adoption of a just transition framework, promoting collaboration between global north and south for renewable energy targets.
  • Calling for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty alongside the Paris Agreement to align policies with climate goals.
  • Emphasizing the importance of genuine and effective global stock take decisions to drive actionable outcomes.

Climate financing and just transition

Addressing the issue of climate financing, Moma spoke of the need for the promised $100 billion to be delivered for adaptation in countries facing the immediate impacts of the climate crisis.

She called for a shift in financing architectures and bold commitments from state parties to fund initiatives for clean energy, Loss and Damage, and a just transition.

“So we need to see actually bold commitments of the 100 billion dollars being delivered for adaptation for countries that need it to be able to deal with the climate crisis that is upon us,” she exclaimed.

Voice of the marginalized

One of the crucial contributions of faith-based groups, Moma continued, is their role in bringing the voices of the marginalized to the forefront.

Thanks to Pope Francis and to organizations like the Laudato Sì Movement, she said, we are able to ensure that the concerns of the least privileged are heard.

The Pope’s voice represents the voice of the poor, the voices of people at the margins, she noted, “and those are the people who have done nothing to cause the climate crisis.”

“The marginalized and the poor are the ones who have done nothing to cause the climate crisis.”

Love song for Our Common Home

Lindlyn Moma concluded with a powerful message inspired by Pope Francis’s Laudato Deum, calling for a shift in perspective and reminding leaders and negotiators of humanity’s place within creation.

He calls on the faithful, she said, and on all people of goodwill, to remember that our relationship with each other includes the need to care for creation.

“So we should find a way to sing a love song to our common home,” she said, “And it’s a love song of care, a love song of regarding ourselves as a humble part of creation, not an autonomous part. And this is what we need to remind our leaders.”

“We should find a way to sing a love song to our common home.”