Pope’s speech at the U.N. could have impact on climate debate


This week, as Pope Francis visits the United States, all eyes will be on his speech before Congress on Thursday, and how it could affect domestic politics — especially on the subject of climate change.

But Francis’s speech the next day, before the U.N. General Assembly, may more completely underscore the full meaning of his influential encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si (Praised Be),” and have the most lasting impact.

The pope will address the United Nations just as the body moves to approve a set of ambitious 2030 sustainable development goals that range from putting an end to hunger and poverty to ensuring the availability of clean water and energy. Only one of the 17 major goals — each supported by multiple sub-goals — is to address climate change through the U.N. process that will seek a major global agreement in Paris this December.

But in a sense, they’re all interconnected in an economic and social vision that turns on using the globe’s wealth and its natural resources — water, energy, forests, and more — so as to ensure equitable benefits and avoid the negative impacts, particularly to the poor and disadvantaged, that result from over-exploitation. (by Chris Mooney, Washington Post)


Also see our look at the Papal Perspective.