‘Radical’ Pope Francis urges progress against climate crisis

Pope says people who choose having pets over children are “selfish”

Pope says people who choose having pets over children are “selfish”

Pope Francis was speaking to the BBC for Radio 4’s Thought for the Day

Recording a message for the BBC, Pope Francis has made a call for the world leaders attending COP26 to provide “effective responses” to the environmental emergency at hand and offer “concrete hope” to the world’s future generations. Pope Francis relayed his message from the Vatican to be aired on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’. 

He spoke of the various crises that are befalling the world at the current moment, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and economic difficulties. In order not to waste opportunities that these events can create, he urged people to respond with vision and radical decisions.  

“We can confront these crises by retreating into isolationism, protectionism and exploitation,” the pontiff said, “or we can see in them a real chance for change”, he said. Going further, he pushed for  “a renewed sense of shared responsibility for our world”, adding that “each of us – whoever and wherever we may be – can play our own part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and the degradation of our common home.” 

This is not the first time that Pope Francis has spoken about the climate crisis during his pontificate. He regularly speaks about climate change when making his addresses and even wrote a papal document on the subject, named Laudato Si. Within this document, published in 2015, he accepted that climate change was largely manmade and urged for there to be mitigating measures put in place. It was issued before the COP21 climate conference in Paris at which commitments were made to keep global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees or less. 

With mounting evidence that these commitments are not being upheld, Pope Francis’ message on the BBC hopes to have a big impact before the world leaders meet again in Glasgow next week.

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Written by

Claire Gordon