Pope Francis has become a momentous advisory for the climate since his election in March 2013. From the announcement of an encyclical designed to instruct 1.2 billion Roman Catholics on climate action, to his meeting with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, Pope Francis has taken creation care discourse to unprecedented levels. And, with his scheduled September participation in the UN Assembly, 2015 is anticipated to be even bigger.
Pope Francis has enabled faith leaders of all backgrounds to understand climate action as a moral issue by depoliticizing the issue of climate change, arguing that it requires the participation of all humans. Positing humankind's degradation of the earth as a ‘sin,' Pope Francis fervently insists that we must, “Safeguard Creation…because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!”
With millions of poor people being affected by climate change, climate action is being seen as a moral obligation for faith leaders around the world. Pope Francis' encyclical is anticipated to touch on this point in an effort to sway more Mainline Protestant faith leaders to join the cause; many of which, have already done so.
For more on Pope Francis' involvement in the UN Assembly, checkout this article from Mother Jones.
Pope Francis, the leader the Catholic Church, is closing out 2014 in his typically headline-grabbing fashion. He used a traditional Christmas address to issue a scathing takedown of the political squabbling that infects Vatican bureaucracy, and he was also credited as a key backroom player in the thawing of US-Cuba relations.
Next on his list? Climate change.
Over the weekend, the Guardian reported that the pope will issue the first-ever comprehensive set of Vatican teachings on climate change, in the form of an encyclical—or "papal letter"—sent to churches worldwide. He will also personally lobby for climate action action in a series of high profile meetings ahead of the all-important UN global warming negotiations in Paris next year.