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Pope Francis warns that humankind is facing an 'urgent' crisis that must be dealt with immediately: '[This] concerns everyone'

"I renew my appeal to world leaders to do something more concrete … "

Pope Francis warns that Earth is facing an 'urgent' crisis that must be dealt with immediately

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The challenge of tackling our planet's overheating has received its fair share of attention from celebrities, business owners, and activists. But one figure has had some particularly strong words to share. 

In a message to visitors at St. Peter's Square this summer, Pope Francis said, according to Reuters, "I renew my appeal to world leaders to do something more concrete to limit polluting emissions." 

He also noted, "[The emissions are] an urgent challenge, it cannot be postponed, it concerns everyone. Let us protect our common home."

His statement came in the wake of heat waves across the planet, as well as flooding in countries such as South Korea. Soon afterward, scientists determined that July 2023 would be the hottest month in recorded history. The global mean temperature for the month of July has hovered around 61 degrees Fahrenheit in the past. This year, the average mean temperature has soared by 2 degrees.

This isn't the first time Pope Francis has been critical of dirty energy sources like oil and gas. He has made environmental protection a key component of his tenure as pope, claiming in a 2015 "Laudato Si" (Praised Be) letter that the planet was "beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth," per Reuters. 

"I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet," the Pope wrote at the time. "We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all."

Pope Francis has nested his climate-forward perspectives in the idea that individuals should protect "God's creation" from environmental degradation, pollution, and climate change.

The Pope has been highly critical of world governments' efforts to achieve this mission. In a message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation prepared in May 2023, the Pope called for an end to "the senseless war against creation." 

He also drew a direct link between dirty energy and global climate change

"According to the commitments undertaken in the Paris Agreement to restrain global warming, it is absurd to permit the continued exploration and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructures," the Pope shared in his message, Reuters reported.

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