Pope calls on world leaders to adopt Paris climate deal

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Pope Francis leaves at the end of a mass to mark the closure of the synod on the family in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, October 25, 2015. Photo courtesy REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis leaves at the end of a mass to mark the closure of the synod on the family in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, October 25, 2015. Photo courtesy REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

A group of marchers with a banner saying, "Thank you Pope Francis."

Thousands march in Rome to show support for Pope Francis’ call for climate action in June 2015. Religion News Service photo by Rosie Scammell

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis hailed the “historic” climate change agreement signed in Paris, urging the international community to swiftly implement the deal.

Speaking to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday (Dec. 13), Francis called on world leaders to act on the unprecedented environmental agreement signed on Saturday by nearly 200 countries.

“The conference on climate has just finished in Paris with the adoption of an agreement, defined by many as historic. Carrying it out will require a unanimous commitment and generous dedication on everyone’s part,” he said.

READ: Animal images on St. Peter’s Basilica charm and alarm

Under the agreement, nations have promised to limit the rise in global temperatures to below 2.0 C (3.6 F), seen as vital by scientists to significantly slow the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Reflecting on the deal, the pontiff also urged governments to focus their attention on those most in need of protection: “Hoping that particular attention is guaranteed for the most vulnerable populations, I urge the entire international community to continue promptly on the path undertaken, in a sign of solidarity that becomes ever more effective.”

During his papacy Francis has become a vocal advocate for action on climate change, in June releasing an encyclical specifically focusing on the environment. In the text the pope strongly criticized wealthy nations for what he saw as the exploitation of poorer countries, with practices that have damaged the environment and made people increasingly vulnerable to climate change.

READ: Act now, for God’s sake, faith voices urge Paris climate conference

Meanwhile there have been reports Francis personally intervened to push the December climate change deal through. According to claims reported by the BBC, the pope phoned the president of Nicaragua to convince him to sign the deal.

In addition to the rumor, the Vatican sent a delegation to the United Nations’ 2015 Paris Climate Conference, known as COP21, and made its position clear by projecting photographs of nature onto St. Peter’s Basilica. The stunning images from some of the world’s top photographers were beamed around the world on Dec. 8, with the show named “Fiat Lux” (“Let there be light”) — the words spoken by God in Genesis on the creation of the world.

(Rosie Scammell reports on the Vatican for RNS) 

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  • Science not in

    We’ll see how Americans feel once their electric bills quadruple, and we all have to pay carbon taxes on just about everything. Meanwhile the elites and their U.N bureaucrats will live in luxury, as the rest of us are driven to live in squalor. This is what happens when the elites and certain government officials collaborate with grant-hungry sycophantic “scientists” and media lackeys to perpetuate their propaganda (see the “Climate Gate” Copenhagen e-mails of 2009). This is all in the name of ushering in a “post-industrial age,” which for most of us means regressing to the Dark Ages.

  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Let there be light.

  • Science not in

    It’s so predictable how the indoctrinated instantly dub themselves intellectually superior. Climate skeptics are considered “deniers” and “flat-earthers” by these smug, condescending, pseudo-intellectual sophists. You can’t have a civil discussion with these people, because they always resort to insults.

  • Junebug

    . Over the past 20 years, weather-related disasters led to 606,000 deaths (30,000 per year) and 4.1. billion injuries. Moreover, some 90% of major disasters have been caused by 6,457 floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts and other extreme weather events at an annual cost of $250 billion to $300 billion.

    Ninety-seven percent of scientists already agree that global warming is driven by human activity and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. .

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” – Galileo

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  • Fran

    God will not destroy the earth, nor will he allow man to destroy it, since he will destroy those destroying the earth (Revelation 11:18). Thus, the earth will be cleansed of all wicked ones (Isaiah 11:4), as well as of worldwide pollution that has been caused by man.

    As to sin, the benefits of Jesus’ ransom sacrifice will be applied to mankind during his upcoming millennial rule. Inherited sin and death will be done away with by the end of that rule, and man will thereafter live forever on earth (Revelation 21:3,4). That was God’s original plan or purpose for his earthly family to begin with.

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