Pope on climate change

Added On December 1, 2015

Pope Francis called on world leaders to seal a strong agreement at the Paris climate change meeting in December.
LIFESTYLES has the details.
Pope Francis said transforming current development models was a "political and economic obligation", as he visited the global headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi. 
Pope placed particular emphasis on the need to adopt low-carbon energy systems and end the "throw-away culture" that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
"Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods; it represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Our response to this challenge needs to incorporate a social perspective which takes into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged."
The upcoming climate summit in Paris represents an important stage in the process of developing a new energy system which depends on a minimal use of fossil fuels.
The highly-anticipated conference also aims at energy efficiency and making use of energy sources with little or no carbon content.
UNEP's Emissions Gap report, released in early November, showed that the expected Paris commitments from member states will cut up to 4 to 6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year from global emissions in 2030. 
This, however, is 12 gigatonnes short of the level that will keep the world on track to stay below the "safe" limit of a 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise this century.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner who was in attendance together with other UN leaders said that it was important for the world to put more effort to close the emissions gap. 
SOUNDBITE:(English) ACHIM STEINER,UNEP executive director
"Addressing the world just a few days before the Paris climate conference, with the future of this planet hanging in the balance, you remind world leaders, business leaders and individual citizens that we each have not only that responsibility, but an obligation to act on what our conscience tells us to be right. The United Nations has a unique role in focusing efforts on climate change and in forging consensus to allow the world to act together."
As a further symbol of his environmental commitment, Pope Francis planted an Olea capensis, an indigenous tree found across the continent of Africa, on the grounds of the UN headquarters before his talk.
This was the pope's maiden trip to Africa with Kenya being the first stop.