Pope Francis has been outspoken about the need to address climate change, and Vatican sources says he will become even more forceful on the issue in 2015. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Now, ahead of next year’s critical UN climate summit meeting in Paris, he’s expected to ratchet up his advocacy. The Guardian of London is reporting that in the coming year, he is planning to release a message for Catholics, call a summit of the world’s major religions to jointly address climate change and give a speech to the UN general assembly. Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said the Pope hopes influence the Paris climate summit participants to take decisive action.
“Our academics supported the pope’s initiative to influence next year’s crucial decisions,” Sorondo told London-based Catholic development agency Cafod. “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.”
He’ll apparently meet with other faith leaders to lobby government officials at the UN general assembly meeting in New York in September at which countries will be announcing new anti-poverty and environmental goals. The Pope has been regularly connecting the two, saying things like “An economic system centered on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it” and “The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”