The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis recently told the UN’s lead climate official Christiana Figueres that the environment will be one of his priorities for 2015.
In a meeting with Figueres at the Vatican, the pope confirmed he will deliver a Papal Encyclical on the environment and climate change next year.
According to Nick Nuttall, Figueres’ spokesperson, “They discussed the challenge of climate change… which he sees as a social justice and human rights issues.”
Last week, Pope Francis took the opportunity to urge Europe to focus on green and sustainable growth.
In an address to the European Parliament, the pope reminded MEPs they were “stewards, but not masters” with a responsibility to protect the planet for future generations.
“Our earth needs constant concern and attention,” he said. “Each of us has a personal responsibility to care for creation, this precious gift which God has entrusted to us.
“This means, on the one hand, that nature is at our disposal, to enjoy and use properly.”
In keeping with much of his tenure as head of the Roman Catholic church, Pope France spoke on hunger, waste and inequality.
“It is intolerable that millions of people around the world are dying of hunger while tons of food are discarded each day from our tables,” he said.
“Respect for nature also means recognising that man himself is a fundamental part of it.”
Pope Frances seems to follow rightly on the heels of his predecessor Pope Benedict, who is called the first green pontiff, because of his sermons on environmental sustainability and the installation of solar panels at the Vatican.