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Pope Francis: appeal to governments to “avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis”

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

Pope Francis urged governments, particularly those “which are more powerful and pollute the most”, to “strive to honour the commitments made in Paris, in order to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis”. He did so in his speech this morning to the participants in the International Conference “Saving our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth”, on the third anniversary of the Encyclical “Laudato si’”. The attendees were received in audience in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, although the conference is underway in the New Synod Hall, from 5 to 6 July. Today, our “common home”, which is the planet Earth, “needs urgently to be repaired and secured for a sustainable future”, otherwise “there is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse”, Pope Francis warned, insisting on the need for “commitment to take concrete steps to save the planet and the life it sustains, inspired by the Encyclical’s assumption that ‘everything is connected’. That principle lies at the heart of an integral ecology”. In recalling that today “the pace of consumption, waste and environmental change” has “stretched the planet’s capacity”, the Pontiff expressed the hope that “concern for the state of our common home will translate into systematic and concerted efforts aimed at an integral ecology”, for “the effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now”. “Humanity has the knowledge and the means to cooperate in responsibly ‘cultivating and protecting’ the Earth”, he pointed out. In this regard, he reaffirmed the importance of two international events: the COP24 Summit, to be held in Katowice, Poland, in December this year, which “could prove a milestone on the path set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement”. “We cannot afford to waste time”, the Pope said. Even “local authorities, civil society, and economic and religious institutions can promote the culture and practice of an integral ecology”, for instance during the Global Climate Action Summit that will be held from 12 to 14 September in San Francisco.

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