Pope Francis calls for strong climate agreement
Nov 27, Nairobi: Pope Francis called on world leaders to seal a strong agreement at the upcoming UN climate change conference (COP21), stating that transforming current development models is a "political and economic obligation."
During his visit to the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya, he said, "In a few days, an important meeting on climate change will be held in Paris...It would be sad, and I dare say even catastrophic, were particular interests to prevail over the common good," Pope Francis told the crowd. “In this international context, we are confronted with a choice which cannot be ignored: either to improve or to destroy the environment.”
He said COP21 represents an important stage in the process of developing a new energy system which depends on a minimal use of fossil fuels, aims at energy efficiency and makes use of energy sources with little or no carbon content.
UNEP's Emissions Gap report, released in early November, showed that the expected Paris commitments from Member States will cut up to 4 to 6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year from global emissions in 2030. This, however, is 12 gigatonnes short of the level that will keep the world on track to stay below the "safe" limit of a 2 degree Celsius temperature rise this century.
As a further symbol of his environmental commitment, Pope Francis planted an Olea capensis, an indigenous tree found across the continent of Africa, on the grounds of the UN headquarters before his talk.
The Oslo Times