Editor's Note: Later this summer, Pope Francis will release his encyclical on the environment and human ecology. The highly anticipated teaching document will be the first from a pope to focus specifically on creation and human relationship with it.
In the two years since his papacy began, Francis -- like his predecessors Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II -- has spoken regularly on environmental issues, such as protecting creation, climate change, environmental degradation and natural disasters, water, food and sustainability. As part of the lead-up to the papal encyclical, Eco Catholic will revisit key speeches, addresses and messages from Francis on environmental topics.
Nov. 27, 2014, pontifical message to climate change conference in Lima, Peru:
[Graphic: Mick Forgey, using Canva.com; Photo: CNS/Mariana Bazo, Reuters]
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"In the first 12 days of December, the city of Lima and the people of Peru will have the honour of welcoming the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the programme of which is to confirm the progress of the application of this legal instrument, of critical import at this moment in history.
Along with my greeting to you, Mr President, and to all the organizers and participants of this Conference, I would like to express my closeness and encouragement, that the work of these days may be accomplished with an open and generous spirit. That which you will discuss will have an impact on all of humanity, particularly the poorest and future generations. Moreover, it is a serious ethical and moral responsibility.
It is not without significance that the Conference is being held on the coast adjacent to the Humboldt Current, which joins the peoples of America, Oceania and Asia in a symbolic embrace and which plays a decisive role in the climate of the entire planet. The consequences of environmental changes, which are already being dramatically felt in many countries, especially the insular states of the Pacific, remind us of the gravity of neglect and inaction. The time to find global solutions is running out. We can find appropriate solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There is therefore a clear, definitive and urgent ethical imperative to act.
An effective fight against global warming will be possible only through a responsible collective action, which overcomes particular interests and behaviours and develops unfettered by political and economic pressures. A collective response which is also capable of overcoming mistrust and of fostering a culture of solidarity, of encounter and of dialogue; capable of demonstrating responsibility to protect the planet and the human family.
I sincerely hope that at the Conference in Lima, as in subsequent meetings, which will be decisive for the negotiations on the climate, a dialogue will be adopted which is imbued with such a culture and with the values that foster justice, respect and equity."
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