The Vatican published Pope Francis’s long-awaited encyclical on the environment today, which warns of ‘serious consequences’ if the world doesn’t act on climate change. Here’s a round up of the key points in the highly anticipated document and some reactions:
The Pope on UN Climate Talks
Pope Francis isn’t very impressed by more than 20 years of UN climate talks. He says the annual summits have produced “regrettably few” advances on efforts to cut carbon emissions and rein in global warming. The encyclical says:
The Pope on climate change and the science
The Pope makes reference to the huge body of work by national science academies and international bodies such as the IPCC on climate science:
A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system.
He warns of serious consequences if we don’t act on climate change:
If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us.
As many studies have already pointed out, the Pope notes that the world’s poor are expected to suffer most from global warming:
It [climate change] represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry.
On water quality
On fossil fuels
On the loss of species and ecosystems
Reactions to the Pope’s bold intervention into the climate change discussion are pouring in.
John Schellnhuber, Angela Merkel’s climate adviser and a leading climate change scientist said:
Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate chief, says the Pope’s intervention should act as a “clarion call” for a strong deal at Paris:
Former UN general secretary Kofi Annan, said:
Quotes and summary are excerpts from The Guardian