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Pope Francis, Cardinal Parolin Talk Climate Change Ahead of COP26

Pope Francis hopes "the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor might be heard."

On November 1, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP26 began. Organized by the United Kingdom and Italy, it will gather some of the world’s leaders and experts on the environment to discuss climate change and how we can handle and control it before we reach the irreversible effects it can have on the world.

Attendees of the conference includes Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, who is heading the Vatican delegate in lieu of Pope Francis. But even without being physically present in Glasglow where COP26 is being held, the pontiff shared his thoughts on climate change and called on the public to act fast. (Read: Pope Urges Educators to Work Together Against Climate Change)

Pope Francis asked Christians around the world to pray “so that the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor might be heard.” He also said that he hopes the conference provides world leaders with sustainable and attainable solutions to address climate change.

‘A cultural challenge’

Pope Francis pours dirt into a potted olive tree during the meeting, “Faith and Science: Towards COP26,” with religious leaders in the Hall of Benedictions at the Vatican Oct. 4, 2021. The meeting was part of the run-up to the U.N. Climate Change Conference, called COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, 2021. (Photo from CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Meanwhile, in a pre-COP26 interview, Cardinal Parolin said that the need to address climate change is a “cultural challenge to promote the common good and a change of outlook that will set human dignity at the center of every action.” He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that the world needs to change how we are addressing the climate crisis.

“[We must strengthen] the covenant between human beings and the natural environment, with particular concern for the most vulnerable peoples,” the cardinal said. (Read: LOOK: 3 Times Pope Francis Speaks Up About Climate Change)

“In the words of the appeal signed by the religious leaders: ‘We have inherited a garden: we must not leave a desert to our children.'”

During the conference, over 100 countries also pledged to end deforestation by the year 2030. COP26 will be happening until November 14 at the Scottish Event Campus.

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