Pope to UN summit: Climate change linked to ethical decline

Pope Francis speaks to the crowd gathered in St Peters Square on June 15 2015 before the Angelus Credit   LOsservatore Romano CNA 6 15 15 Pope Francis speaks to a crowd in St. Peter's Square. | Vatican Media.

In a video message Monday to the UN Climate Action Summit, Pope Francis stressed that climate change is linked to ethical decline and human degradation.

"The problem of climate change is related to issues of ethics, equity and social justice. The current situation of environmental degradation is connected with the human, ethical and social degradation that we experience every day," Pope Francis said in the Spanish video message to the UN, published Sept. 23.

The pope called climate change "one of the most serious and worrying phenomena of our time."

Pope Francis said that humanity is called to cultivate the moral qualities of "honesty, responsibility and courage" to face this global challenge.

He quested whether there is "a real political will" to "allocate greater human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects and climate change and to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations."

"With the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015, the international community became aware of the urgency and need for a collective response to help build our common home. However, four years after that historic Agreement, we can see that the commitments made by States are still very 'weak,' and are far from achieving the objectives set," he said.

"While the situation is not good and the planet is suffering, the window of opportunity is still open. We are still in time," Francis added.

The pope called upon the UN to think about the meaning of current models of consumption and production and to place the economy at the service of the human person and peace building.

"Although the post-industrial period may well be remembered as one of the most irresponsible in history, nonetheless there is reason to hope that humanity at the dawn of the twenty-first century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities," Pope Francis said, quoting his 2015 environmental encyclical Laudato Si.

Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg also addressed the UN Sept. 23. Pope Francis previously met Thunberg in April after one of his Wednesday general audiences.

"Thank you for standing up for the climate, for speaking the truth. It means a lot," Thunberg told Pope Francis April 17.

The pope told the young activist "God bless you," shook her hand, and encouraged her to continue her efforts, according to Vatican Media.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.