Pope hails climate agreement, urges special care for the poor

Agreement at last

Pope Francis has commended world leaders for reaching an agreement in the recently-concluded Paris climate talks, urging the international community promptly put it into action, reports the Catholic News Agency.

“The conference on climate has just concluded in Paris with the adoption of an agreement, defined by many as historic,” the Pope said in his Angelus address in Rome yesterday.

Implementing the plan, he said, will require “a concerted and generous commitment on the part of each one,” and expressed his hope that the agreement would give special attention to the most vulnerable.

The Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, was one of leaders representing 150 nations present for the November 30- December 11 discussions of the COP-21 summit on climate change in Paris, aimed at finding legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and holding global average temperatures under a two degrees Celsius increase over pre-industrial global temperatures.

The new deal holds that global greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by half of what is needed to prevent an increase in atmospheric temperatures of two degrees Celsius, according to The New York Times.

The agreement also requires that every country participate, putting forward their own plan to cut carbon emissions through 2025-2030. Countries will also be legally required to meet every five years beginning in 2023 in order to publicly report on their progress compared to their plans.

In his comments, Pope Francis exhorted the entire international community “to promptly continue the path taken, as a sign of solidarity which becomes ever more active.”

Photo: A woman dances on a tarp with the words "climate justice" as the Arc de Triomphe sits in the background during a demonstration on Saturday

FULL COVERAGE

Pope Francis urges action after Paris climate agreement reached (CNA)

Pope welcomes COP21 agreement but urges care for vulnerable (Vatican Insider)

Nearly 200 nations adopt historic Paris Agreement, set path for action on climate change (NCR)

Religious reaction to Paris climate accord (RNS)

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