In his address at the COP27 climate change conference, Holy See Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that “we cannot ignore the link between the climate crisis and lack of access to food and water." He furthermore stressed that hunger, conflict, climate and inequality are firmly interconnected".
This view expressed by Cardinal Parolin sums up the root cause of the current crises that afflict the world, which has been the case for years, in the hope of shedding light on the current global crises with the hope of finding a safe way that drifts the world out of its existential and abysmal situation.
Addressing attendees of the COP27 climate change conference, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin says that “we cannot ignore the link between the climate crisis and lack of access to food and water."
While he underlined the close relationship between food and water security on the one hand and other issues on the other such as war, the climate, and economic inequality on the other, he provided several proposals for addressing these problems. It is important in this regard to shed light on them in the hope that this would help find solutions that would ease world crises.
Regarding food security, he suggested "promoting sustainable production and land management, introducing programs to facilitate the access of the vulnerable to food supplies, encouraging sustainable diets, intervening at both production and consumption to reduce food waste and greenhouse gas emissions, and including food systems in climate financing."
Furthermore on water security, he recommended "improving agricultural management, harmonizing water sharing along trans-boundary water systems, intervening at both production and consumption to reduce water and food loss, coordinating water interventions with nutrition and health interventions, improving the quality and monitoring of water-food system linkages, and addressing social inequities in water access."
The association between food security and water security has been reflected in Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical letter on the environment, namely Laudato si’ which focuses on the care for the natural environment and all people.
It is of cardinal importance to note that hunger and malnutrition are increasing due to these interconnected factors, namely wars, climate crises, inequality, lack of willingness to share resources and know-how, as well as the deterioration of climate.
With the climate change affecting every component of food security, the question that arises is whether the world is on the verge of acute food crises or rather starvation.
The eruption of the Ukraine-Russia conflict has clearly showed that food security is very shaky at the global level with numerous world countries relying totally on the import of food to feed their peoples. The absence of food security and long-term plans to generate food is quite a serious issue. So, does hunger seem to be again on the rise globally? What adds insult to injury are the drastic consequences of climate change which include higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and more frequent extreme weather events such as droughts and flashfloods which are making the food situation ever more precarious.
With the convening of the COP27 climate change conference, it is important to turn words into action and speed up the efforts designed to extricate the world from the bleak future in the offing and to ensure the application of sound solutions that restore to the world a state of stability based on shared equality, justice, and peace.
Speaking during his catechesis at the weekly General Audience on November 9, Pope Francis said, 'War will never be resolved through the childish logic of weapons'. He also appealed for ending the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, Yemen and Myanmar. He also called for entrenchment of fraternity and the protection of life.
Furthermore, "with firm conviction, he said during the closing ceremony of the annual 'Spirit of Assisi' prayer for peace with religious leaders which was held on 25 October, 2022 at the Colosseum, " No more war! Let us stop all conflicts." These were the words of His Holiness Pope Francis which reverberated throughout the world strongly urge world leaders to end wars and resort to the logic of peace.
Actually with the eruption of wars, warring countries turn attention to the production of weapons while turning a deaf ear to efforts designed to increase food production. This situation culminates into food shortages and negligence of all efforts to increase food production. With peace prevailing, the world leaders ought to dedicate all their efforts and time to solve pending world problems including hunger, climate change, unemployment, as well as water scarcity among others.
The world needs peace urgently so that efforts focusing on the production of weapons would be dedicated to increasing food production and educating the new generations that peace based on justice is the panacea for the chronic problems faced by all nations.
In this regard, let us seek Lord Jesus Christ peace who said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)