Pope Francis warns against indifference to climate change

Pope Francis has warned those who downplay the effects of climate change by “negating the problem…indifference, comfortable resignation or blind trust in technical solutions”.

The pope, in a message to a UN conference on climate change in Bonn, told delegates that people must avoid falling into the “perverse attitudes” of denial, indifference, resignation, and trust in inadequate solutions which “do not help honest research and sincere dialogue on building the future of our planet”.

The conference comes two years after the Paris Agreement in which representatives of more than 150 countries met at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The Paris Agreement was an international climate accord reached in 2015 after representatives of more than 150 countries met for COP 21, or the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Signatories to the agreement pledged to help reduce global carbon emissions and to keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century.

Signatories pledged on various levels to help reduce global carbon emissions and aim to keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius, as compared to average temperatures from the pre-industrial age, by the end of the 21st century.

When the agreement was initially reached, Pope Francis hailed it as “historic” and said it would require “a concerted and generous commitment” from members of the international community. Over 190 countries have now signed the agreement.

However, United States President Donald Trump decided earlier this year to pull out of the accord, arguing that the requirements would harm the U.S. economy and jobs.

In his message to the Bonn conference, Pope Francis said the challenge of climate change requires the commitment of every country, some of whom “must try to assume a guiding role,” with due consideration for vulnerable populations.