The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, has asked that developed nations lead efforts in combating climate change and to recognize the developmental needs of less developed nations. At a climate change workshop organized at the Vatican, the Cardinal said, “The rich countries who have already gone very far ahead of the poor countries ought not to be demanding that poor countries remain where they are for fear of damaging the environment further, when it is they who are damaging the environment more.”
He asked countries like the USA, China, Russia and other EU countries to reduce spewing more carbon into the atmosphere while demanding that developing countries to halt their own development. At the Meeting, sponsored by the Pontifical Academies of Science and Social Sciences, scientists, political leaders, and religious figures discussed climate change, and the new Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Cardinal Onaiyekan also challenged religious leaders to lend their strong voices to sustainability issues in their messages to congregations and decision makers. “We begin to realize that since this affects every living people on the earth, the religious people have their own role to play in stopping this danger that is hanging over everybody.”he said.