Pope wades into climate change debate

2015-01-15 17:14
Pope Francis as he arrives at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake in Sri Lanka. (Ishara SKodikara, AFP)

Pope Francis as he arrives at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake in Sri Lanka. (Ishara SKodikara, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Aboard the papal plane - Pope Francis waded into the global debate about climate change on Thursday, saying that he believed that man was primarily responsible and that he hoped this year's Paris conference would take a courageous stand to protect the environment.

The Pope said his long-awaited encyclical on the environment was almost finished and that he hoped it would be published in June, in time provide food for thought ahead of the UN climate meeting Paris in November.

Speaking to reporters on the plane taking him from Sri Lanka to Manila, he was asked specifically if man was mostly to blame for climate change.

"I don't know if it is all [man's fault] but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps down nature," he said.

The words were his clearest to date on climate change, which has sparked worldwide debate and even divided conservative and liberal Catholics, particularly in the United States.

"We have, in a sense, lorded it over nature, over Sister Earth, over Mother Earth," said Francis, who since his election in 2013 has made many appeals for the protection of the environment.

"I think man has gone too far," he said. "Thank God that today there are voices that are speaking out about this."

Last month, about 190 nations agreed the building blocks of a new-style global deal due in 2015 to combat climate change amid warnings that far tougher action will be needed to limit increases in global temperatures.

Under the deal reached in Lima, governments will submit national plans for reining in greenhouse gas emissions by an informal deadline of March 31, 2015 to form the basis of a global agreement due at a summit in Paris at the end of the year.

He faulted the Peru conference for not doing enough about climate change.

"The Peru meeting was nothing much, it disappointed me. I think there was a lack of courage. They stopped at a certain point. Let's hope the delegates in Paris will be more courageous and move forward with this," he said.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  pope francis  |  climate change

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.