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Pope Francis puts pressure on EU Environment Ministers



Today’s meeting of Pope Francis with EU Environmental Ministers in the Vatican comes at a crucial moment, just two days before an extra Environment Council where EU Member States will adopt the EU’s position for the Paris climate summit in December.

In reaction to the meeting, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe said: “The meeting between the Pope and EU Environment Ministers on the Paris climate summit could not be more timely. His repeated calls to stop the exploitation of our planet and end the dependence of our society on fossil fuels should add the much needed urgency and seriousness to the EU’s efforts to tackle climate change. The Ministers should feel that the world is watching them while they will be taking decisions on the EU’s share of the global effort to protect the climate.

“The EU’s climate targets are currently not ambitious enough to avoid the worst consequences of climate change and have to be increased. The EU has to agree on a date for ending the use of fossil fuels, latest by 2050. Only a long term pathway to full decarbonisation will provide companies with the certainty needed to scale up investments in energy savings and renewable energy.

“Hopefully, the Pope’s moral weight will have tangible impact on political leaders in Poland. If not the mounting costs of bankrupting coal industry, perhaps their strong Catholic beliefs could convince them to stop blocking further EU action on climate change.”