Pope Francis warns: Climate change could turn Earth into pile of 'rubble'

Pope Francis warns: Climate change could turn Earth into pile of 'rubble'
© Getty Images

Pope Francis on Friday repeated his calls for governments around the world to take action to reduce global warming, warning that climate change is threatening to turn Earth into a pile of rubble.

“There is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse,” The Associated Press reported Francis said at a Vatican conference that marked the third anniversary of his environmental encyclical, “Praise Be."

The AP noted that the "Praise Be" document was meant to prompt action at the 2015 Paris climate conference. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition to his warning, Francis also urged world leaders to honor the commitments made in the Paris climate accord — an agreement reached by 195 countries that sought to curb global greenhouse gas emissions through individual, nonbinding national plans.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE announced in 2017 that the U.S. would exit the agreement unless it could receive a better deal. 

Francis also said that organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank could play essential parts in promoting reforms for sustainable development.

“It grieves us to see the lands of indigenous peoples expropriated and their cultures trampled on by predatory schemes and by new forms of colonialism, fueled by the culture of waste and consumerism,” Francis said. 

Francis has been outspoken about his attempts to persuade countries to take climate change seriously. The AP reports that Friday's conference was part of a series of Vatican initiatives meant to convey a sense of urgency toward the problem. 

In June, Francis issued a warning to top oil executives about the dangers of global warming. 

“Civilization requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilization,” Francis said.