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5 Oct, 2023 11:59

‘World is collapsing’ – Pope

The Catholic Church leader has lambasted a lack of action on climate change and what he termed an irresponsible Western lifestyle
‘World is collapsing’ – Pope

The world as we know it is “collapsing” amid rapidly accelerating climate change and inaction by global leaders, Pope Francis has warned. He singled out developed Western nations as the main culprits behind the crisis.

In his Apostolic Exhortation entitled Laudate Deum and published on Wednesday, the head of the Roman Catholic Church lamented that little progress has been made since he released the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ on the topic back in 2015.

The world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point,” with the current climate crisis threatening the very “dignity of human life,” the Pontiff insisted. He went on to stress that its consequences are becoming increasingly harder to ignore, manifesting themselves in “extreme weather phenomena, frequent periods of unusual heat, drought.

According to the Pope, the notion that poorer nations are largely responsible for global warming is wholly fallacious. The Pontiff pointed out that “emissions per individual in the United States are about two times greater than those of individuals living in China, and about seven times greater than the average of the poorest countries.” With that in mind, he called for a “broad change in the irresponsible lifestyle connected with the Western model.

Francis strongly criticized climate change deniers, proclaiming that “it is no longer possible to doubt the human – ‘anthropic’– origin” of the phenomenon. He noted that global temperatures have risen in the last fifty years at a speed unseen over the past two millennia.

The Pope lamented that the “climate crisis is not exactly a matter that interests the great economic powers, whose concern is with the greatest profit possible at minimal cost and in the shortest amount of time.” He also took aim at large multinational organizations over their inefficacy.

Francis argued that previous crises, such as the major economic slump in 2008 and the Covid-19 pandemic, presented unique opportunities to “bring about beneficial changes” which were all “squandered.

The Pope’s 2015 appeal came months before the ratification of the Paris Climate Accords, with a Vatican delegation attending the negotiations. In the following years, the Holy See has hosted numerous conferences devoted to the fight against climate change, which featured both religious and business leaders. Francis has delivered many speeches on the topic, including at the UN and the US Congress.