Sat | Nov 18, 2017

Pope blasts short-sighted human activity for climate change

Published:Sunday | November 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Pope Francis addresses a delegation of Pacific leaders in the Clementine Hall, at the Vatican, yesterday. Francis met with a delegation of Pacific leaders and told them he shares their concerns about rising sea levels and increasingly intense storms that are threatening their small islands.

BONN (AP):

Pope Francis has blasted "short-sighted human activity" for global warming and rising sea levels and has urged leaders at climate talks in Germany to take a global outlook as they negotiate ways to curb heat-trapping emissions.

Francis met yesterday with a delegation of leaders from the Pacific islands and told them he shares their concerns about rising sea levels and increasingly intense storms that are threatening their small islands.

He decried in particular the state of oceans, where over-fishing and pollution by plastics are threatening fish stocks and sea life that are critical to Pacific livelihoods.

He said several causes were to blame, but that "sadly, many of them are due to short-sighted human activity connected with certain ways of exploiting natural and human resources, the impact of which ultimately reaches the ocean bed itself".

The pope's comments came hours after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said every country needs to pitch in to keep global temperatures from rising.

 

URGENT PROBLEM

 

Merkel said, in her weekly podcast yesterday, that climate change was an urgent problem, and that every country has to help limit global warming to below 2 or, even better, 1.5 degrees the target set by the 2015 Paris climate accord by the end of the century.

Diplomats from around the world are meeting in the German city of Bonn to discuss implementing the Paris accord.

Merkel also said it's the responsibility of the industrial countries to develop environment-friendly technologies that are future-oriented, but "don't lead to a loss of jobs".

She said: "We don't gain anything if steel mills, aluminium plants and copper mills leave our countries and go somewhere else where environmental regulations are less strict because then we haven't made any gains for world climate."