Pope Benedict XVI called for a “responsible” deal at the Vatican today just ahead of the two week Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa.
“I hope that all members of the international community agree on a responsible and credible response to this worrisome and complex phenomenon, taking into account the needs of the poorest and future generations,” the Pope said as reported by the Associated Press.
The Pope also said that, “in reality, the true ‘owner’ of the world is not man but God.”
This is not the first time Pope Benedict XVI has been outspoken about the environment and climate change. In the past he has called the the fight against climate change a “moral obligation”. Often linking environmental degradation with materialism, he has said that “in a world closed in on its materialism, it is easier for the human being to make himself the dictator of all other creatures and of nature”. In 2008 the Pope named environmental destruction as one of seven new sins.
The Pope has faced criticism from some environmentalists who state that the Catholic Church’s stance against contraception has helped fuel an overpopulated world. Overpopulation is considered by most environmentalists to be one of the overarching causes of environmental destruction.
Pope Benedict XVI, the 265th Pope, was elected in 2005; he has arguably been the most vocal Pope ever on environmental issues. There are over 1.1 billion Catholics in the world, the largest sect of Christianity. Many of these Catholics live in developing nations (for example over 130 million people in Brazil are Catholic) where poverty and environmental issues are paramount.
(11/28/2011) The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2010, according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which found that warming from greenhouse gases rose 29 percent from 1990 to 2010. The announcement was made just a few days prior to officials meet at the 17th Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, where expectations are low for a strong, binding agreement with a number of wealthy nations stating they expect no new agreement to take affect until 2020.
(11/13/2011) Not known for alarmism and sometimes criticized for being too optimistic, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that without bold action in the next five years the world will lock itself into high-emissions energy sources that will push climate change beyond the 2 degrees Celsius considered relatively ‘safe’ by many scientists and officials.
(11/06/2011) Global greenhouse gas emissions last year exceeded worst-case scenario predictions from just four years before, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). A rise of 6 percent (564 million additional tons) over 2009 levels was largely driven by three nations: the US, India, and China. Emissions from burning coal jumped 8 percent overall. The new data, supported by a similar report from International Energy Agency (IEA), make it even more difficult for nations to make good on a previous pledge to hold back the world from warming over 2 degrees Celsius.