News

 

“June 29, 2017”

A contribution against climate change

The G-7 summit in Taormina, on the island of Sicily, ended a few days ago. What was anticipated at the meeting became an unfortunate reality. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States of America, the second most polluting country on the planet, from the Paris agreement. He had announced it in his electoral campaign but people was confident that he would not implement it in the case of victory considering the dire consequences for the whole planet not to fight all together against climate change. However, the decision is already here, thus blasting the international consensus for the salvation of our common home.

To protect our planet the participation of all countries, people and institutions is necessary. The union of all sums, division detracts. The issues of climate and sustainable development cannot be compartmentalized. We must all feel co-responsible. The news is painful. The Paris Agreement, signed by 195 countries, was the first effective agreement to reduce carbon emissions and to achieve that the global temperature does not exceed by two degrees pre-industrial levels at the end of the century.

The “Antoni Gaudí Foundation for Big Cities”, constituted in Barcelona in 2015, organizes an International Congress “Laudato’ sí and Big Cities”, to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 13-15 July 2017. It is a Catalan contribution to the solution of the climate change problem.

This Congress is timely. It deals with the content of the ecological encyclical of Pope Francisco “Laudato’ si”, delivered on May 24, 2015, and will be developed with ethical and practical purposes. It will be devoted to increase the public awareness on the problems of drinking water, air quality and waste treatment. Climate change is a real problem and decisions need to be made to solve it. Circumventing the issue does not solve but magnifies it and our planet is already too battered. Pope Francisco, who is very interested in this subject as well as in the humanization of large cities, will send us a speech at the end of the Conference.

Big cities are the Conference’s topic as 52% of the world population is now living in large urban concentrations, and the percentage is increasing. In the year 2050 this rate will reach 66%. Eighty percent of the Brazil population already lives in large cities. This was one of the reasons to hold this Congress in the South American continent and, specifically, in this country.

Water, air and waste are three major topics to humanize the lives of citizens in large cities. Scientists, technicians, moralists, administrators, mayors, religious leaders and University rectors will be convened by the Catalan Foundation in Rio de Janeiro to discuss and think over the current reality of climate change in a global context, namely in view of the lack of support of the United States America in working together towards the implementation of solution ways.

+ Lluís Martínez Sistach
Cardinal of Barcelona
President of the Foundation
“Antoni Gaudí for Big Cities”

 

“May 29, 2017”
International Congress News

The G-7 meeting was held in Taormina. It ended with the open question of the support of the President of the United States of America to the Paris Agreement. We are all aware of the imperative need for a full ratification of this Agreement to avoid deterioration of the present environmental conditions and enforcement of a safe future evolution of our planet. We are still on time to avoid irreparable disasters leading to serious planetary scale environmental damage. The agreement is needed for the well-being of all humans who actually live and will live in our common home.

This topic is a main concern of the International Congress “Laudato sí and Big Cities” in Rio de Janeiro organized by the “Antoni Gaudí Foundation for Big Cities” with the collaboration of the Archdiocese of this large city.

The Congress will specifically address the issues of safe drinking water availability, air quality and waste generation and handling. All these topics will be considered in the context of the need for humanization of the great cities of the world. This is a priority task given that 52% of the world population actually lives in these cities and that the percentage is constantly increasing.

This International Congress will be participated by scientists, experts, moralists, city mayors, religious leaders and rectors of Universities. All them with ethical and practical purposes: to become more and more aware of the demands needed to defend our planet, avoiding climate change, and to enforce each one to put into practice the means at their disposal to achieve these goals.

Pope Francisco is interested in holding this Congress and will be present with a final speech. The Pope carries in his heart the ecological problems which motivated him for the publication of the encyclical “Laudato’ Si”, on May 24, 2015. He is also deeply concerned with the human realities of the great cities, e.g. the great Buenos Aires and many others.

I cordially invite you to participate in this International Congress, especially the people and organizations directly interested on the issues that the Congress will address.

+ Lluís Martínez Sistach
Cardinal of Barcelona
President of the Foundation
“Antoni Gaudí for Big Cities”