Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity. The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development



Organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, SDSN and Religions for Peace, the goal of this summit is to help strengthen the global consensus on the importance of climate change in the context of sustainable development. Global climate change adversely affects every aspect of our civilisation and thus should be a matter of serious concern across all world religions. Their effect on the poor is even more severe. We wish to elevate the importance of the moral dimensions of protecting the environment in advance of the Papal encyclical and to build a global movement to deal with climate change and sustainable development throughout 2015 and beyond.  

The desired outcome is a joint statement on the moral and religious imperative of dealing with climate change in the context of sustainable development, highlighting the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people – especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children, and future generations.


10:30 - 11:00

Welcome by H.E. Msgr. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo
Chancellor of the PAS

Opening address by Ban Ki-moon (text and video)
UN Secretary General

Opening address by H.Em. Card. Peter Turkson (text and video)
President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

11:00 - 11:15

Brief statements by
Prof. Jeffrey Sachs (text and video)
Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Dr. William Vendley (video)
Secretary General of Religions for Peace

President Margaret Archer (video)
Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Prof. Veerabhadran Ramanathan (video and pdf)
Pontifical Academy of Sciences

11:20 Panel 1: Technical aspects
Evidence on social exclusion and climate science.

Moderator: Peter Raven
Panelists: Partha Dasgupta, John Schellnhuber (PDF), Martin Rees, V. Ramanathan (PDF), Peter Raven, Y.T. Lee, Paul Crutzen (PDF).

14:00 Panel 2: Justice and Responsibility
Leading representatives from the major religions.

Moderator: William Vendley
Panelists: Rabbi David Rosen, Olaf Tveit, Metropolitan Emmanuel, Din Syamsuddin, Swamiji Theertha, Kosho Niwano.

15:30 Panel 3: Practical aspects from local to global 
Proposed solutions and follow-up.

Moderator: Jeffrey Sachs
Panelists: Address by President Rafael Correa, Hans Vestberg (PDF), Laurence Tubiana, Cardinal John Onaiyekan

17:00 Panel 4: Eliminate Human Trafficking and Resettle its Victims: Next Steps Towards Sustainable Development

Moderator: Margaret Archer
Panelists: Margaret Archer, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Pierpaolo Donati, Stefano Zamagni

18:00 Discussion of joint statement

18:30 Reception and refreshments



Declaration and Statement of the Summit

Declaration of Religious Leaders, Political Leaders, Business Leaders, Scientists and Development Practitioners

28 April 2015 We the undersigned have assembled at the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social... Read more