Guterres meets Pope Francis: a joint appeal against climate change

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(Arturo Zampaglione) VATICAN CITY, DECEMBER 20 – In the midst of “turbulent and trying times”, all the world’s people must stand together in peace and harmony, the UN Secretary-General said on Friday. António Guterres was speaking following an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, who he thanked for his strong support for the global organization.

Mr. Guterres arrived in Rome from Madrid, which hosted the recent UN climate conference known as COP25, which ended with no overall consensus. He called on countries to commit to the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, which scientists say is necessary for the planet to survive.

Pope Francis also underlined the need for urgent climate action.  Speaking in Spanish, he gave thanks for those who strive to create a more humane and just society and urged people everywhere to listen to the young people pushing for a better world.

“It is necessary to recognize oneself as members of a single humanity and to take care of our land which, generation after generation, has been entrusted to us by God in custody so that we may cultivate it and leave it in inheritance to our children. Commitment to reducing polluting emissions and comprehensive ecology is urgent and necessary: let’s do something before it’s too late,” he said.

The UN chief praised the head of the Roman Catholic Church for being “a messenger of humanity” who has spoken out on issues such as the refugee crisis, poverty, inequality and the climate emergency.

“These messages coincide with the core values of the United Nations Charter – namely to reaffirm the dignity and worth of the human person.   To promote love of people and care for our planet.  To uphold our common humanity and protect our common home. Our world needs that more than ever”, he said. (@OnuItalia)