Reports suggest that Pope Francis is set to take the unprecedented step of issuing a call for Catholics to act on climate change. The Pope has previously stated that economic developments should respect “God’s creation”.
According to a Bishop the Pope would like to have a direct influence on UN climate negotiations. In December world leaders, businesses and NGOs met in Lima, Peru, to discuss a universal treaty, with a draft proposal being drawn up. It is hoped that a climate change agreement can be made at a vital conference in Paris late 2015.
Speaking to the Guardian, Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said, “Our academics supported the Pope’s initiative to influences next year’s crucial decisions.
“The idea is to convene a meeting with leaders of the main religions to make all people aware of the state of our climate and the tragedy of social exclusion.”
The Pope has spoken out on a number of environmental issues and has called for action across a range of areas. In July, he told workers and employers that men should safeguard the Earth, not exploit it, whilst in 2013 he spoke out against fracking and environmental devastation.
Sorondo added, “Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialisation, today we have changed the natural environment so much. If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences.”
Photo: Gabriel Andrés Trujillo Escobedo via Flickr