Pope Francis said in his message for World Earth Day that the planet is “at the limit” and humankind must avoid “the path of self-destruction.”
The head of the Roman Catholic Church, who has made numerous calls for environmental protection since his election in 2013, send his message in two separate videos; one for an online Earth Day event and another for the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by US President Joe Biden.
“It is time to act, we are at the limit,” said Pope Francis, who backed the scientific consensus position of human-induced global warming, in a message on Earth Day.
He referred to the COVID-pandemic that is combined with the repercussions of climate change, and said no one was permitted not to respect nature because nature “no longer forgives.”
“It is difficult to stop the destruction of nature when it has been triggered. We will be more resilient when we work together instead of alone,” he said.
“We do not come out of a crisis, in the same way, we come out better or worse. This is the challenge, and if we do not come out better, we are on a path of self-destruction.”
He added that it was the time for innovation and invention and called on political leaders to act with courage and justice.
In his message at the summit, at which the United States and other countries increased their emissions reduction target, Pope Francis said that people “take care of nature so that it takes care of us.”
The meeting, hosted by the US president, which Francis described as a “wonderful” initiative, aimed at reviving the US leadership in the fight against global warming.
The Pope criticized former US President Donald Trump who withdrew the US from the 2015 Paris Agreement. The Vatican has welcomed Washington’s return to the climate deal following the inauguration of the current US administration.