Equilibrium & Sustainability

Pope praises young activists challenging world leaders on climate

getty: Pope Francis

Pope Francis on Wednesday lauded the efforts of young activists who have challenged world leaders to fulfill their commitments to cutting emissions.

Francis thanked the 400 attendees, including Greta Thunberg, at a youth climate summit in Milan for their “dreams and good projects,” according to The Associated Press. The Youth4Climate conference will send recommendations to ministers at next month’s U.N. Climate summit in Glasgow.

“This vision is capable of challenging the adult world, for it reveals that you are prepared not only for action, but also for patient listening, constructive dialogue and mutual understanding,” Francis said in a video.

Thunberg on Tuesday criticized world leaders for their “blah, blah, blah” statements regarding climate challenges.

“Net zero, blah, blah, blah. Climate neutral, blah, blah, blah,” Thunberg said at the youth summit. “This is all we hear from our so-called leaders — words, words that sound great but so far has led to no action or hopes and dreams. Empty words and promises.”

Francis and other Christian leaders issued a joint statement earlier this month urging global leadership to not “waste this moment” in addressing the ongoing climate crisis.

“We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure,” Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Portal Welby wrote.

“But we also face a profound injustice: the people bearing the most catastrophic consequences of these abuses are the poorest on the planet and have been the least responsible for causing them,” they continued.

The Vatican has not confirmed whether Francis will attend the Glasgow summit, the AP noted.

Tags climate Environment Greta Thunberg Italy Milan Pope Francis u.n. climate summit Youth4Climate conference

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