Pope Francis urges progress at Lima climate talks

Head of Catholic church delivers message urging unity to delegates, as UN talks enter final hours

Pic: MATEUS_27:24&25/Flickr

Pic: MATEUS_27:24&25/Flickr

By Sophie Yeo in Lima

Pope Francis has urged diplomats to agree on a strong deal to tackle climate change as UN negotiations draw to a close.

In a message to Peru’s environment minster Manuel Pulgar Vidal, who is leading the discussions in Lima, Francis warned that “the time to find global solutions is running out.”

Deep rifts remain between countries over how they should cut their greenhouse gas emissions with less than 24 hours to go until the deal is set to be signed.

Francis urged countries to overcome these divisions and work together. “We can find solutions only if we act together and agree,” he said.

The Pope has already made a name for himself as an environmentalist. He is said to be working an an encyclical about man’s relationship with nature that will be released ahead of the UN’s next climate summit in Paris next year.

On Wednesday, a group of nine Catholic bishops called for an end to the use of fossil fuels.

“Humankind on the Planet Earth is ordained to live in equity, justice and dignity, peace and harmony in the midst of the order of Creation,” said the bishops, who came from five countries across four continents.

“Humankind is ordered to treat respectfully Creation, which has a value in itself.”

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