ROME — Pope Francis has launched another climate warning, asserting humanity has only “ten years” to restore the earth’s ecosystem.
In his Message for the Launching of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, published Friday on the Vatican website, the pope insisted that the “current environmental situation calls us to act now with urgency.”
“We risk floods, and hunger and severe consequences for ourselves and for future generations,” the pontiff declared. “This is what many scientists tell us.”
The U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration “invites us to make ten-year commitments aimed at caring for our common home by supporting and scaling up efforts to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide and raise awareness of the importance of successful ecosystem restoration,” he said.
It is time to act urgently “to restore the nature that we have been damaging and exploiting for too long,” Francis stated. “Otherwise, we risk destroying the very basis on which we depend.”
The pope asserted that “we have little time left – scientists say the next ten years, the span of this UN Decade – to restore the ecosystem, which will mean the integral restoration of our relation with nature.”
“Continuing down this path of exploitation and destruction – of humans, and of nature – is unjust and unwise,” he added. “This is what a responsible conscience would tell us.”
When we look around ourselves, we see “the destruction of nature, as well as a global pandemic leading to the death of millions of people,” the pope said. “We see the unjust consequences of some aspects of our current economic systems and numerous catastrophic climate crises that produce grave effects on human societies and even mass extinction of species.”
As he has done on other occasions, Francis linked the coronavirus pandemic to climate change as two warnings of human environmental irresponsibility.
“The many ‘warnings’ we are experiencing, among which we can see Covid-19 and global warming, are pushing us to take urgent action,” he said. “I hope that the COP26 on climate change, to be held in Glasgow next November, will help to give us the right answers to restore ecosystems both through a strengthened climate action and a spread of awareness and consciousness.”
“Restoring the nature we have damaged means, in the first place, restoring ourselves” and becoming a “Restoration Generation,” he concluded.