The Board of the United Nations Foundation today issued the following statement on “Laudato Si’ (Praised Be You), On Care for Our Common Home,” Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and climate change:
Pope Francis has shown great leadership with his encyclical on the environment and climate change. The encyclical comes at a critical time and serves as a ‘reset button’ in the global dialogue on how we address climate change. The Pope’s voice engages new participants around the globe and changes the tenor of the discussion.
Many reasons inspire us to protect our climate and environment – to safeguard our health and our economy, among others – but the most important motivation must be a moral one. Human activities are disrupting the Earth’s delicate balance – polluting our air and water, cutting down our forests, and leading many species to extinction. Climate change, caused primarily by the use of fossil fuels for energy, threatens the viability of our human existence on Earth. Carbon pollution is transforming the very chemical makeup of our atmosphere and oceans, with devastating consequences – extreme weather, droughts, floods, and rising seas. A warming planet will hurt us all, but the world’s poorest will suffer first and most.
With his encyclical Pope Francis is calling on us to pursue a more sustainable path – for the sake of the least among us and for generations to come. As his namesake Saint Francis said: “Remember that when you leave this Earth you can take nothing of what you have received, but only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.” May we apply what each of us has been given to protect the Earth we all share.
UN Foundation Board Member Kofi Annan commented, “This is real leadership. Let’s hope others follow his lead.
About The United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.