The Secretary-General welcomes the papal encyclical released today by His Holiness Pope Francis which highlights that climate change is one of the principal challenges facing humanity, and that it is a moral issue requiring respectful dialogue with all parts of society. The Secretary-General notes the encyclical’s findings that there is “a very solid scientific consensus” showing significant warming of the climate system and that most global warming in recent decades is “mainly a result of human activity”.
The Secretary-General reaffirms that humanity has a significant obligation to care for and protect our common home, the planet Earth, and to show solidarity with the poorest and most vulnerable members of society who are suffering most from climate impacts. The Secretary-General therefore urges governments to place the global common good above national interests and to adopt an ambitious, universal climate agreement in Paris this year.
The Secretary-General welcomes the contributions of all religious leaders and people of influence in responding to the climate challenge and in strengthening sustainable development. He looks forward to welcoming Pope Francis at the United Nations in September to address the UN General Assembly.