Pope Francis reminded those attending the COP26 environment summit next month to work for genuine ecological conversion and do their best for future generations.
The pontiff addressed participants to a preparatory meeting for the summit co-organised by the Italian Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the Vatican on Saturday.
In his address, Pope Francis recalled having just signed a “Joint Appeal,” together with various religious leaders and scientists with next month’s summit in mind.
He said the document is the result of months of intense dialogue and is based on the “awareness of the unprecedented challenges that threaten us and life on our beautiful common home.”
The pontiff said the document also stresses “the necessity of an even deeper solidarity in the face of the global pandemic and of the growing concern” in that regard.
Vatican News quoted the pope saying that a spirit of fraternity marked the process highlighting “an impressive convergence of all our different voices on two points.
“First, our sorrow at the grave harm inflicted on the human family and its common home; and second, the urgent need for a change of direction, in order to move decisively and firmly away from the throwaway culture, prevalent in our society, towards a culture of care,” said Pope Francis.
He said that to rise up to the challenge, “humanity needs to undergo genuine conversion and do so with steadfast determination.”
It is a responsibility that is especially “incumbent upon those called to positions of great responsibility in the various sectors of society,” he said.
The pope said the same document is also an “appeal to governments to adopt without delay a course of action that would limit the average global temperature rise and to take courageous steps, including the strengthening of international cooperation.”
“We appeal to them to promote a transition towards clean energy; to adopt sustainable land use practices, preventing deforestation and restoring forests, conserving biodiversity, favouring food systems that are environmentally friendly and respectful of local cultures, working to end hunger and malnutrition, and to promote sustainable lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production,” said the pope.
COP26 will bring together leaders from around the world to advance climate action and promote the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world’s major legally-binding international treaty on climate change.