Pope Francis launched on Tuesday an initiative to make Catholic institutions ranging from families to universities to businesses environmentally sustainable in 7 years, noting that a “predatory attitude” toward the planet must cease.
The Laudato Si Action Platform takes its name from his landmark 2015 encyclical on the need to reduce wasteful lifestyles, stem global warming, protect the environment and protect the poor from the effects of climate change.
The pope has been invited to attend the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November in Glasgow, Scotland, said Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Vatican’s development office, at a news conference announcing the initiative.
Turkson pointed out that Francis will likely attend.
In a video message for the launch, Francis noted that the initiative would be “a 7-year journey that will see our communities committed in various ways to becoming totally sustainable, in the spirit of integral ecology”.
However, the pope condemned “our predatory attitude, which makes us feel that we are masters of the planet and its resources, and authorizes us to make irresponsible use of the goods God has given us.”
Pope Francis strongly supports the goals of the 2015 U.N. Paris accord to reduce global warming.
“These wounds (to the planet) manifest themselves dramatically in an ecological crisis without precedent, which affects the ground, the air, water and, in general, the ecosystem in which human beings live,” the pope said.
“We have a great responsibility, especially with regard to the future generations. What world do we want to leave to our children and our young? Our selfishness, our indifference and our irresponsible ways are threatening the future of our children.”