Pope Francis Hopes World Leaders Will Make the Environment a Priority

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In a recent interview, Pope Francis is making the environment a priority this year in hopes that his encyclical on ecology will encourage world leaders to reach an agreement during the next round of climate change talks in Paris in November.

Citing deforestation and monoculture as just two ways that man has exploited nature, he said "[man has] taken over nature" in what he referred to as a "culture of waste." Pope Francis' encyclical is set to be released by June or July, according to the Associated Press, so that world leader taking part in the world climate change negotiations will have ample time to read it in its entirety and absorb it.

"The meetings in Peru were nothing much, I was disappointed," he said in an Associated Press story. "There was a lack of courage. They stopped at a certain point. We hope that in Paris the representatives will be more courageous going forward."

Pope Francis was en route to the Philippines where he will visit with survivors of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, which is said to be just one example of the severe and disastrous weather pattern caused in part by climate change. During the interview, he said that while many other things might have caused global warming, it was "man who has slapped nature in the face."

The pope said it was about time that world leaders make "'courageous' decision" to protect "God's creation."

Pope Francis will offer up some of his opinions about climate change and the role man plays in September at the United Nations in New York. And when he takes the stage, he hopes his points will encourage world leader to act fast.


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