Pope Francis expressed dismay on Monday at US president Donald Trump’s intention to withdraw from the Paris climate deal.
The head of the Roman Catholic church was speaking at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
According to Reuters, he told an audience that included Trump’s agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue: “Thanks to scientific knowledge, we know how we have to confront the problem and the international community has also worked out the legal methods, such as the Paris Accord, which sadly, some have abandoned.”
In June, Trump announced he would take the US out of the Paris deal as soon as legally possible, which is in 2020.
In the lead up to that announcement, Trump and the pontiff met in the Vatican. Francis gave Trump a copy of his 184-page essay on humans’ relationship with the environment, Laudito Si. Trump promised to read it.
The pope’s speech in Rome on Monday marked World Food Day. Francis linked climate change to global hunger and large movements of people.
“We see consequences of climate change every day,” he said, calling for a change in the way the world uses resources. “It is clear that wars and climatic change are a cause of hunger, so let’s not present it as if hunger is an incurable disease.
“The yoke of poverty caused by the often tragic movement of migrants can be removed by prevention, consisting of development projects that create jobs and offer the capacity to respond to climactic and environmental changes.”