Pope Francis Underlines the Need for Climate Action

UN Secretary-General António Guterres with Pope Francis. Photo: UN
UN Secretary-General António Guterres with Pope Francis. Photo: UN

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres praised on Friday (December 20) the head of the Roman Catholic Church for being “a messenger of humanity” who has spoken out on issues such as the refugee crisis, poverty, inequality, and the climate emergency. The UN chief was speaking after his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Mr. Guterres had arrived in Rome from Madrid, which hosted the recent UN climate conference known as COP25, which – according to the UN – ended with no overall consensus.

Mr. Guterres called on countries to commit to the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, which scientists say is necessary for the planet to survive.

Pope Francis also underlined the need for urgent climate action. “Commitment to reducing polluting emissions and comprehensive ecology is urgent and necessary: let’s do something before it’s too late,” he said.

The Pope also warned against indifference to the suffering of others. “We cannot – we must not – look the other way at the injustices, the inequalities, the scandal of hunger in the world, of poverty, of children who die because they have no water, food, the necessary care. We can’t look the other way at any kind of abuse against the little ones. We must fight this plague together,” he added.

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Rakesh Raman