Pope Francis: ‘Specter of Climate Change Looms over Every Aspect of Existence’

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ROME — Pope Francis warned Thursday that climate change has become a “planetary crisis,” and billions face “an extremely high risk of climate-related devastation.”

In an address to participants in a Vatican-sponsored climate summit, “From climate crisis to climate resilience,” the pontiff asserted that the data on climate change “is getting worse every year,” putting “all human beings in grave danger.”

Climate change, together with biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, global disparities, and food insecurity, poses “existential threats to humanity, to other living beings, and to all ecosystems,” the pope declared.

Wealthy nations are especially at fault for the warming earth, he contended, since the richest nations “produce more than half of the pollutants that trap heat.”

While the 46 least developed countries account for only one percent of global CO2 emissions, he stated, “G20 nations are responsible for 80% of these emissions.”

This means that the wealthier nations have contracted an “ecological debt” toward poorer nations, Francis proposed, which calls for debt restructuring and reduction, as well as the development of “a new Global Financial Charter by 2025.”

“The specter of climate change looms over every aspect of existence, threatening water, air, food and energy systems,” he argued, adding that more than three and a half billion people “live in regions that are highly sensitive to the ravages of climate change.”

This “planetary crisis” demands “a universal approach and swift and decisive action, capable of producing political change and decisions,” he urged.

We need to “aim for global decarbonization, eliminating dependence on fossil fuels,” he added.

“We need to act urgently – urgently!” he concluded, “because the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

The pope’s ever shriller climate change alarmism echoes that of United Nations executive climate secretary Simon Stiell, who warned last week that humanity has only two years left “to save the world” by making dramatic changes to reduce global warming.

“Who exactly has two years to save the world? The answer is every person on this planet,” Stiell said. “More and more people want climate action right across societies and political spectrums, in large part because they are feeling the impacts of the climate crisis in their everyday lives and their household budgets.”

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