VATICAN CITY (Reuters): Pope Francis and Orthodox Christian leader Patriarch Bartholomew called on Friday for a collective response from world leaders to climate change, saying the planet was deteriorating and vulnerable people were the first to be affected.
The appeal comes three months after US President Donald Trump withdrew from a global agreement, struck in Paris, to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
“We urgently appeal to those in positions of social and economic, as well as political and cultural, responsibility to hear the cry of the earth and to attend to the needs of the marginalised,” Francis and Bartholomew said in a joint statement.
“Above all”, the leaders of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and up to 300 million Orthodox Christians asked for a response “to the plea of millions and support (for) the consensus of the world for the healing of our wounded creation.”
The joint message was not addressed to any specific world leaders. Many were dismayed when the US backed out of the Paris accord, a decision a senior Vatican official later called “a disaster”.