Pope Francis is poised to tackle climate change in 2015 with an agenda that will include a series of speeches, summit appearances, and an aggressive call-to-arms for the world’s Catholics. According to sources, the pontiff wants to have a direct influence on the vital United Nations (U.N.) Climate Conference that is scheduled a year from now in Paris, France. The 2015 conference is expected to be the culmination of decades of international negotiations that will help determine the future of the planet and its ecosystem as a whole.
At the end of 2015, numerous nations of the world will convene in Paris and attempt to reach a global accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curtail the effects of global warming. Pope Francis hopes that the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, as well as other major religions, will be a big part of serious climate action. The pontiff has a clear agenda and is expected to tell the more than billion strong Catholic base why acting on climate change is essential to the faith, as well as society as a whole, using a rare, influential church document known as an encyclical. A papal encyclical is not often employed and it is among the highest levels of the pontiff’s authority. The doctrine is expected to be 50 to 60 pages long and it will carry great significance. The encyclical will be used to urge Catholics to take action on moral and scientific grounds against global warming. The document on climate change and human ecology will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests, who will then distribute it to parishioners.
As Pope Francis is poised to tackle climate change in 2015, the pontiff has stressed that the monopolization of lands, deforestation, appropriation of water, and inadequate agro-toxics are some of the dangers faced as a global community. Moreover, climate change, deforestation, and the reduction of biodiversity are already demonstrating devastating effects on the planet and its ecosystem in the extreme weather conditions experienced in present-day society.
According to sources, Pope Francis also believes that if prompt measures are not taken, the planet will witness never-before-seen climate changes which will result in the destruction of its ecosystem, as well as significantly impact the human race. However, there is a contingent of Catholics who contend the pontiff should not be getting involved in geopolitical issues and he is outside his expertise.
Thus, the pontiff’s mission will not be an effortless task, as there remain many skeptics and detractors within the Vatican, as well as among the Catholic base when it comes to the issues of climate change and global warming. Chief among the naysayers is Cardinal George Pell, a former archbishop of Sydney and high-ranking church official who has been placed in charge of the Vatican’s budget, who has claimed that global warming has ended and once stated that plants would rejoice if the atmosphere would double its quantity of carbon dioxide. Moreover, many onlookers expect Pope Francis’ environmental stance to be resisted by Vatican conservatives and right-wing Catholic circles, particularly among those in the United States.
As Pope Francis is poised to tackle climate change in 2015 with an agenda that will include an aggressive call-to-arms for the world’s Catholics, the pontiff is determined to have a direct impact on the 2015 U.N. Climate Conference that is scheduled for Paris at the end of next year. Pope Francis has stressed that the only way to save the planet is to work together as a global community and agree upon global solutions in drafting a document to combat the effects of global warming, as Earth and mankind is already facing an uncertain fate. The 2015 conference is expected to be the culmination of decades of international negotiations that will help determine the future of the planet and its ecosystem, as well as the human race as a whole.
By Leigh Haugh
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