Pope Francis Warns on Climate Change: Turning Earth into a Desert, Pile of Rubble

The pontiff urged governments to honor Paris climate agreement

Pope Francis, speaking at a Vatican conference, asked governments around the world to honor the pivotal Paris climate agreement. This conference, held to mark the third anniversary of his 2015 Laudato Si’ encyclical, was used by the pontiff to issue a dire warning that if the climate is not taken into cognizance, then the Earth will soon be a place of “rubble, deserts and refuse.”

195 countries are a signatory to the Paris accord. The aim of the treaty is to avoid climate change's worst effects. This will be made possible by restricting greenhouse gas emissions through non-binding and individual national plans. President Donald Trump of the United States has pulled out of the agreement until a new deal is negotiated to put American workers first.

On July 6, Pope Francis said the planet’s capacity has been stretched by the pace of consumption, environmental change, and waste. The contemporary lifestyle, Francis reminded his audience, is not a sustainable one. It can only initiate events of a catastrophic nature. The pontiff made a reference to the 2018 edition of the COP24 environmental summit, scheduled to be held in December. He said discussions would be made on the 2015-era Paris agreement. The latter has set tough standards to limit greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.

During his speech, the pope requested governments across the world to honor the agreements signed during the Paris meeting. He added that institutions like the World Bank and the IMF have vital roles to play when it came to encouraging reforms pushing sustainable development. The conference was latest in several Vatican moves to push the feeling of urgency concerning the global warming issue. He said that the effect of global warming will be felt most by the most marginalized and poorest people in the world.

Pope Francis had recently invited investors and senior oil executives to a closed-door conference. The pontiff urged corporates to locate or invent alternatives to the fossil fuels. He gave a warning that a change in the climate was a gargantuan challenge. He described the latter as of "epochal proportion." In 2019, the pontiff has scheduled a three-week meeting of bishops to discuss the Church’s response to the Amazon’s ecological crisis.

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