(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at the United Nations office in Nairobi, Kenya, on Thursday, Pope Francis stated his hope that the international climate change summit convening in Paris this week will reach a “transformational” agreement aimed at “lessening the impact of climate change” while also “fighting poverty and ensuring respect for human dignity.”
“In a few days an important meeting on climate change will be held in Paris, where the international community as such will once again confront these issues,” said the pope. “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.
“In this international context, we are confronted with a choice which cannot be ignored: either to improve or to destroy the environment,” said the pope.
“COP21 represents an important stage in the process of developing a new energy system which depends on a minimal use of fossil fuels, aims at energy efficiency and makes use of energy sources with little or no carbon content,” he said. “We are faced with a great political and economic obligation to rethink and correct the dysfunctions and distortions of the current model of development.
“The Paris Agreement can give a clear signal in this direction, provided that, as I stated before the UN General Assembly, we avoid ‘every temptation to fall into a declarationist nominalism which would assuage our consciences. We need to ensure that our institutions are truly effective,’” he said. “For this reason, I express my hope that COP21 will achieve a global and ‘transformational’ agreement based on the principles of solidarity, justice, equality and participation; an agreement which targets three complex and interdependent goals: lessening the impact of climate change, fighting poverty and ensuring respect for human dignity.”
The United Nations “Conference of Parties” on climate change, which convenes today in Paris, brings together representatives from more than 190 nations.
“In 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C,” says a UN website on the summit.