The Daily Fix: Can Pope Francis Clinch a Climate Change Deal in 2015?
Pope Francis intends to issue a papal encyclical on climate change in 2015 to influence international negotiations over a long-elusive agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions, reports The Guardian.
The first-of-its-kind encyclical will represent a major statement to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on the relationship between humans and the environment. It will come as world leaders gather in Paris next December for the United Nations’ climate change talks.
“Just as humanity confronted revolutionary change in the 19th century at the time of industrialization, today we have changed the natural environment so much,” Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, told The Guardian. “If current trends continue, the century will witness unprecedented climate change and destruction of the ecosystem with tragic consequences.”
Sorondo said the pope hopes to break the two-decade-long deadlock over reaching a binding international agreement that would require rich and poor nations alike to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change.
The exact nature of Francis’ message in the encyclical remains unknown, but it’s not likely to please conservative Catholics, who have resisted his other moves to make the church a more welcoming place for gays, the poor, and other marginalized groups.
The pope, however, has made no secret of his environmental views.
“An economic system centered on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it,” Francis said in October. “The monopolizing of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”
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