By Jessica Easthope
Every year, environmental factors take the lives of around 13 million people and at least 85 percent of the global population has experienced weather events made worse by climate change. The Catholic Church is at the forefront of promoting carbon neutrality and the fight against global warming.
“That challenge is complex and demanding, but humanity has the means to affect this change, which calls for genuine conversion and a steadfast determination to meet it,” Pope Francis said. “This is especially incumbent upon those called to positions of great responsibility in the various sectors of society.”
Carbon neutrality or net zero refers to the balance between the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses put into the atmosphere and the amount taken out. Pope Francis and world leaders say achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2050 is essential to prevent an increase in global temperature. The pontiff said to get there – leaders need to show solidarity.
“We find ourselves facing a significant educational challenge, since all change requires an educational process aimed at developing a new universal solidarity and a more welcoming society,” Pope Francis said.
In his second encyclical, “Laudato Si’”, Pope Francis encourages not only world leaders but Catholics and people everywhere to take swift action on climate change. The 26th U.N. climate change conference or COP26 is scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12. Leaders from around the world plan to attend including President Biden.