Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, argues that the developed countries of the industrial world should bear the brunt of efforts to curb fossil-fuel emissions, rather than imposing the burden on poor nations.
Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, was among the Catholic dignitaries who attended the April 28 meeting at the Vatican where both environmental and human rights issues were the focus of discussion among scientists, activists, and religious personalities. With regard to the issue of carbon emissions, Cardinal Onaiyekan called on industrialized countries to themselves take the lead role while not demanding poorer countries to “stay where they are.”
Speaking on April 28, the Cardinal added, “The rich countries who have already gone very far ahead of the poor countries ought not to be demanding of that the poor countries must still stay where they are for fear of damaging the environment, when it is they who are damaging the environment in more than 80% of the situation.” In an interview with Vatican Radio, the cardinal added, “The rest of the world will have to recognize and acknowledge the needs of the poor countries in this whole discussion, because despite all that we are saying about reducing carbon emission, we are only talking about reducing, not eliminating – which means even America, China, Russia, Europe, they are all still throwing carbon emissions into the air – so they should allow a small country like Nigeria to start its own factories,” he said.
Listen to the Vatican Viewpoint featuring the full interview with Cardinal John Onaiyekan