Pope: 'Catastrophic' climate if Paris UN talks fail

Pontiff warns against vested 'interests' thwarting crucial deal to limit dangerous effects of greenhouse gases.

    Pope: 'Catastrophic' climate if Paris UN talks fail
    The pontiff has taken a vocal role in the fight against climate change, injecting a moral voice into the debate [Reuters]

    Pope Francis warned of a "catastrophic" outcome if vested interests block a binding agreement to tackle climate change at UN talks in Paris next week.

    "In a few days, an important meeting on climate change will be held in Paris... It would be sad - and I dare say even catastrophic - were particular interests to prevail over the common good and lead to manipulating information in order to protect their own plans and projects," the pontiff said on Thursday.

    The 78-year-old pope has taken on a vocal role in the fight against climate change, injecting a moral voice into a debate usually dominated by scientific, economic, and political concerns.

    "We are confronted with a choice which cannot be ignored: either to improve or to destroy the environment," the pope said in a speech at the world headquarters of the UN Environment Programme in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

    Pope Francis preaches peace and reconciliation in Kenya

    Although he did not go into further detail, Pope Francis has pointed the finger at big industry and blamed first-world countries for failing to act to curb global warming.

    Pope Francis, who is on his first visit to Africa, arrived in Kenya with a warning that the world was facing "a grave environmental crisis" as he began a landmark three-nation tour.

    He'll also visit Uganda and the Central African Republic.

    The pope's comments were made just four days before the start of COP21 - a 12-day conference in the French capital that aims to secure a climate rescue pact.

    More than 150 heads of state and government are due to attend the start of the conference, which wraps up on December 11.

    Negotiators are tasked with sealing a deal that will cap average global warming at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

    Scientists have warned of dangerous atmospheric changes if temperatures increase above 2 degrees C.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Pick your team and answer as many correct questions in three minutes.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Remembering Chernobyl

    Remembering Chernobyl

    The fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion remains as politicised as ever, 28 years on.