Pope praised over climate change

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Published: Tuesday 28th April 2015 by The News Editor

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The UN chief has praised Pope Francis for framing climate change as an urgent moral imperative, saying his upcoming encyclical combined with a new round of UN climate talks provide an “unprecedented opportunity” to create a more sustainable future for the planet.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon opened a Vatican conference on the environment that is a key part of the Holy See’s roll-out of Francis’ eagerly awaited encyclical – a pope’s most authoritative teaching document – which is expected in June.

Mr Ban told Vatican officials and faith leaders from several different traditions that there is large consensus between religious leaders and scientists that climate change is real, that humans must change their behaviour to stop it and that “protecting our environment is an urgent moral imperative and sacred duty for all people of faith and conscience”.

Even though the encyclical is still weeks from publication, conservatives in the US have criticised Francis for using the document to delve into global warming, accusing him of adopting a radical green agenda that a religious leader has no business doing. Mr Ban disagreed.

“I don’t think religious leaders should be scientists. I’m not a scientist either,” the UN secretary-general told reporters. “But what is clear, what is important is … to mobilise the will of the people and to lead the people.”

Vatican officials have argued that protecting the planet is a duty of all of humanity, and Francis himself has said he hopes the encyclical will help influence the climate change talks in Paris in December.

Francis will have a chance to press his environmental message during his visit to the US in September, where he will address Congress and a UN summit in New York on the UN’s new sustainable development goals.

“I’m sure this encyclical will have a profound impact on the discussion of climate change,” Mr Ban said.

Published: Tuesday 28th April 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (1)
  • Breakingwind

    Will they never learn ???….the last time the Holy See was involved
    with science; they imprisoned Galileo for going against the consensus that the
    earth was the center of god’s universe & saying the planets circled the sun.

    Now we have another “large consensus between religious
    leaders and scientists that climate change is real, that humans must change
    their behaviour to stop it.”

    The climate has been changing for 4.5 billion yrs without
    the help of man, do you realy think a papal encyclical will help influence
    climate change

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